Blue Raiders fall 4-3 in extra innings

Face off against La.-Monroe in Saturday doubleheader

March 24, 2009 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee gave up the game-tying homerun in the final inning and could not score with two runners on in the eighth as they fell 4-3 at Blue Raider Field on Tuesday evening.

The Blue Raiders were coming off a thrilling 1-0 victory over Sun Belt Conference foe South Alabama on Sunday. Sophomore pitcher Kellie Head threw a four-hit, complete game shutout for her first win of the season.

Head (2-2) got the loss for the Blue Raiders, giving up one earned run on three hits in 4.1 innings.

Lindsey Vander Lugt started and pitched the opening 3.2 innings for the Blue Raiders, allowing one run on three hits with six strikeouts

Maddi Schmissrauter (8-9) picked up the win for the Golden Eagles,

The Blue Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of action. Caitlin McLure doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a Martha Davis ground out before Caty Jutson nailed her nailed her second RBI of the season with a single to right centerfield.

Middle Tennessee doubled their advantage in the bottom of the second inning. Laurie Anna Cooley led off with a bouncing single through the left side and advanced to second two batters later on a Tobie Joy sacrifice bunt. The freshman scored on a throwing error by Golden Eagles first baseman Whitney Cummings.

Tennessee Tech tied the game in the top of the fourth inning. Cummings nailed a one-out home run to left field before Kaleigh Gates hit a ball over the head of Blue Raider centerfield Dortch to make it 2-2.

The Blue Raiders went back out in front in the bottom of the fourth. Junior Jessica Ives faced a 1-2 pitch and did not disappoint, smashing her first homerun of the season with a blast to left field to make it 3-2.

Blue Raider second baseman Joy highlighted the defensive effort from the Blue Raiders, diving to make stop and firing from her knees for the third out in the top of the fifth.

Tennessee Tech's Cummings doubled to leadoff the sixth inning, but two Head strikeouts sandwiched around a Brittney Banania putout left the home team unscathed in the frame.

Gates led off the top of the seventh inning with a homerun over the left field fence to tie the game at three runs apiece.

The Blue Raiders had a chance to win their second game in a row in the seventh with Banania at third base, but Dortch grounded out and McLure struck out to end the inning.

Extra innings began with the tie-breaker rule in effect, placing a runner at second base for each to begin their individual innings. The Golden Eagles scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning with Callie Schmidt picking up the RBI for the away team.

McLure, who had been placed on second base, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Davis before Jutson drew a walk to put runners on the corners. McLure was thrown out at home for the second out and Cooley struck out to end the game.

The Blue Raiders return to Sun Belt Conference action for a three-game series against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday. Opening pitch in the first game is set for 4 p.m.

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