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Blue Raiders split pair at Evansville

Win 4-0 before falling 6-5 in 12 innings

April 22, 2009 · David Powell
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Lindsey Vander Lugt gave up just one earned run over combined 14.2 innings as Middle Tennessee split a doubleheader with the Evansville Purple Aces at Cooper Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Blue Raiders were coming off an extended break, having played just one game in the previous eight days, a 9-4 road loss to then No. 18 Louisville a week ago.

Martha Davis went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Lindsey Vander Lugt pitched her fourth shutout of the season as Middle Tennessee (9-30) won 4-0 over Evansville (11-28) in the first contest.

Lindsey Vander Lugt (7-14) gave up five hits and struck two in the complete game outing.

Kylie Wagner (5-15) allowed two runs on five hits over five innings in the loss for the Purple Aces.

Annie Vincelett pitched the final two innings for the home team.

Middle Tennessee opened the scoring the top of the first inning. Kelsey Dortch led off with a single through the left side before advancing to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Caitlin McLure. Dortch scored on a Martha Davis RBI single to centerfield to make it 1-0.

Tobie Joy provided a stunning defensive play for the Blue Raiders in the bottom of the third inning. With Lissa Fehlman on first, the sophomore second baseman fielded a ground ball, tagged out Fehlman and fired to Kaycee Popham at first base for a double play.

McLure saved a run in the bottom of the fourth with some stellar defense her own. With two outs and runners on first and second, the leftfielder fielded a ball and lasered a throw to catcher Natalie Ysais for the third out of the inning.

Shelby Barrett doubled the Blue Raider lead in the top of the sixth with her first-career home run, a solo shot to deep left field.

The designated player finished 2-for-3 for Middle Tennessee in the first contest.

The Blue Raiders made it 4-0 in the final inning. McLure reached on a fielding error by Purple Aces shortstop Amy Gaertner before stealing her team-leading 13th base of the season. Martha Davis nailed her second RBI single of the game and Natalie Ysais followed up with an RBI double off the wall in centerfield.

In the second game, McLure tied the game with two outs in the seventh frame, but Middle Tennessee fell 6-5 to the Purple Aces in a hard-fought, 12 inning contest. Vander Lugt (7-15) worked the final 7.2 innings of the contest for the loss, giving up no earned runs and four hits while striking out five.

Caty Jutson made her 14th start of the season, but faced just two batters before giving way to Kellie Head. The sophomore allowed no earned runs and four hits over 3.2 innings.

Jennifer McKee (6-11) picked up the win for Evansville, giving up five runs on 12 hits in 12 innings of action. The righty also struck out 12 batters in the complete game outing.

The Blue Raiders scored two runs to take an early lead in the first inning. Dortch led off the game with a double to the left field fence and McLure put runners on the corners with a single up the middle. Davis picked up her third RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly to center field before Barrett rounded things out with an RBI single up the middle.

Evansville evened the score at two in the bottom of the frame. Krista Price hit a solo homerun to left center and Maggie Little smacked an RBI single to left field four batters later to make it 2-2.

Middle Tennessee went back out front in the top of the third. Caitlin McLure nailed a one-out triple over the head of Purple Aces centerfielder Jamie Lindauer and scored off a wild pitch to make it 3-2.

McLure went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base for the Blue Raiders.

The Purple Aces took a 5-3 lead in the top of the third inning off a three-run homerun by Fehlman before back-to-back Barrett and Kaycee Popham doubles cut the Blue Raider deficit to 5-4 in the fourth.

Middle Tennessee left it until two outs in the seventh inning to tie the game when McLure slammed a hard shot off of the glove of the shortstop and into centerfield, scoring Dortch.

The Blue Raider defense again came up with several big double plays in the extra innings, but Evansville scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 12th off a Wagner RBI to right field.

Middle Tennessee returns to action for a doubleheader against local rivals Tennessee State on Wednesday. Opening pitch is slated for 2 p.m.

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