Blue Raiders drop two games to No. 20 ULL

Conclude series Wednesday at 1 p.m.

March 31, 2009 · David Powell
LAFAYETTE, La. - Martha Davis had three RBIs and led the Middle Tennessee defense in assists as the Blue Raiders opened up a three-game series against No. 20 Louisiana-Lafayette with two losses on Tuesday.

Middle Tennessee was looking rebound in Sun Belt Conference play after dropping three games at Louisiana-Monroe over the weekend.

The Blue Raiders (6-23, 1-10 Sun Belt) committed five errors and managed just two hits as they fell 7-0 to the Ragin' Cajuns (20-7, 3-2 Sun Belt) in the first game.

Lindsey Vander Lugt (4-11) allowed two earned runs on 11 hits in the loss. The lefty struck out seven batters in the game, just two short of her career high.

Donna Bourgeois (14-4) gave up two hits and struck out seven in the complete game shutout.

Kelsey Dortch continued her strong play in the lead off position, reaching second base on a throwing error by Ragin' Cajun third baseman Melissa Verde to begin the game.

Dortch advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Caitlin McLure, but Davis grounded out and Jessica Ives struck out looking to end the inning.

Karli Hubbard began Louisiana-Lafayette's half of the inning with an infield single, before advancing to second on a wild pitch by Vander Lugt. However, the junior pitcher recovered well to strike out Christi Orgeron two batters later to finish off the frame.

Middle Tennessee failed to capitalize off of three separate chances with two runners in scoring position during the top of the third. Two Blue Raiders were thrown out at home before an unassisted groundout to first base put an end to the inning.

The Ragin' Cajuns took advantage of two Middle Tennessee errors and hit back-to-back home runs to take the lead in the bottom of the frame. With one out and Hubbard on first base, Verde dropped a bunt that was sent over the head of first baseman Jessica Ives and into foul territory.

The error allowed Hubbard to score and the ensuing throw to home plate went past catcher Laurie Anna Cooley, allowing Verde to score.

Back-to-back long balls by Lana Bowers and Gabrielle Bridges made it 5-0 in favor of the home team.

Louisiana-Lafayette added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth with Codi Runyan and Orgeron picking up RBIs.

In the second game, Middle Tennessee gave up eight runs in the opening two frames as they fell 11-3 to the Ragin' Cajuns in five innings.

Kellie Head (1-5) allowed 10 runs on 14 hits over four innings in the loss.

Ashley Brignac (5-2) gave up three runs on four hits, while striking out 12 in the complete game win.

The Ragin' Cajuns took advantage of a bases-loaded opportunity to go out in front during the opening inning. Katie Smith and Verde walks combined with a Hubbard infield single loaded the bases before Runyan hit a two-RBI single to left field. Two batters later, Bridges hit a RBI single to short center field to make it 3-0.

Louisiana-Lafayette pushed five runs across in the bottom of the second inning. Verde hit a two-RBI single to left field and Runyan hit a two-run homerun, before Bridges rounded out the scoring with a RBI single to the gap in right field.

Davis pulled three runs back for the Blue Raiders in the top of the third inning. Kaycee Popham knocked a single down the right field line and Banania walked before McLure loaded things up. Davis cleared the bases with a rocket down the left field line to make it 8-3.

McLure finished 1-for-2 with a run scored and phenomenal diving catch in the third inning for Middle Tennessee.

The Ragin' Cajuns added runs in the third and fourth to make it 10-3, before an RBI single by Runyan clinched the game for the home team in the fifth inning.

The Blue Raiders conclude their series with Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday afternoon. Opening pitch at Lamson Park is set for 1 p.m.

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