Blue Raiders drop two games versus Jaguars

Conclude series at 1 p.m. Sunday

March 21, 2009 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Blue Raiders allowed runs during the opening innings of both contests as they fell in two games to the South Alabama Jaguars at Blue Raider Field on Saturday afternoon.

Middle Tennessee (5-17, 0-5 Sun Belt) managed just one hit and allowed 16 runners to reach base as they fell 10-0 to the Jaguars (15-15-1, 2-3 Sun Belt) in the first game of the day.

Lindsey Vander Lugt (4-9) allowed two earned runs on five hits, while striking out five batters in the defeat. The junior worked the entire first inning before re-entering the game with two outs in the fourth.

Sophomore Kellie Head also saw action on the mound for the home team, giving up four earned runs on five hits in relief action.

Beth Pilgrim (9-7) worked the complete game for the Jaguars, allowing just one hit and striking out seven.

South Alabama twice capitalized off of bases-loaded opportunities to jump out to a three-run lead in first inning. Christin Crocker singled down the left field line to start things off and Katie McGuire reached on a throwing error by Blue Raider pitcher Vander Lugt before Tara Donaldson nailed a RBI single down the line in right field.

Kait Chernomaz struck a bunt single to load the bases before two-straight walks allowed two more runs across the plate.

The Jaguars again took advantage of a bases-loaded situation to increase their lead in the top of the third inning. Kalin Lasseter was hit by a pitch, Kristen Hayes singled to centerfield and Carolina Mendoza reached on a catching error by Blue Raider second baseman Tobie Joy before Kelsey Volz's RBI single made it 4-0 in favor of the away team.

South Alabama put the game away with six runs in the top of the fourth inning, including a four-run homerun by Crocker. Pinch hitter Corey Race also picked up an RBI with a single to center field to make it 10-0.

The Blue Raiders stayed close until late, but gave up eight runs in the final inning as they fell 9-0 in the second game.

Caty Jutson (1-6) picked up the loss for Middle Tennessee, giving up five earned runs on nine hits in the complete game performance.

Katy Neal (6-2) worked the first 5.2 innings of the game for the Jaguars. The righty gave up just four hits and struck out six in the shutout.

Beth Pilgrim retired the final four batters of the game for her second save of the season.

South Alabama picked up from where they left off in the opening contest to take an early lead in the first inning. Crocker singled through the left side to start things off and two batters later, Tara Donaldson smacked an RBI single up the middle to make it 1-0.

The Blue Raiders threatened in the bottom of the third inning when Abel struck out two-out triple off the wall in centerfield, but Dortch fouled out to the catcher to end the frame.

Middle Tennessee again looked to cut into the lead in the top of the sixth inning when Martha Davis struck another two-out triple of the day, but Jutson grounded out to second base for the third out.

Davis was 1-for-3 with five defensive assists in the game.

The visitors scored eight runs in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach for Middle Tennessee. Crocker, Katie McGuire, Lasseter and Race all picked up RBIs for the Jaguars.

The Blue Raiders conclude their series with the South Alabama on Sunday. Opening pitch at Blue Raider Field is slated for 1 p.m.

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