Team falls to Kennesaw State 11-1

Indecisiveness hurts team at the plate

February 19, 2010 · Christian Lemon

WOODSTOCK, Ga. - The Middle Tennessee softball team lost the first two games of its 2010 season at the Phyllis Rafter Memorial tournament in Woodstock, Ga., taking losses to both Southern Illinois and Kennesaw State.

MT dropped the morning session game to the Salukis on a 8-1 decision. Pitcher Lindsey Vander Lugt was roughed up in the first contest of her senior campaign allowing 12 hits for seven runs, six of them earned and four strikeouts.

Vander Lugt was touched up three times for solo home-runs, but battled through some tough frames early without giving up the big inning. However, the Middle Tennessee offense was not strong enough to keep up with the high powered Salukis.

Junior Corrie Abel played well in her first game back from season injury in 2009, going 1-2 in the game with a walk and the lone Blue Raider run scored. She also reached on an error giving her a perfect on base percentage. Freshman Ashia Terry drove Abel in from third on a sacrifice fly to right giving the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native her first RBI of her collegiate career and the Blue Raider their lone run of the game.

"We came out stiff and anxious in the first game," said coach Sue Nevar. "The pitching was not where it needed to be in the first game. The umpire was calling a tight game and Lindsey might have been getting the pitches she is used to getting, but that is not an excuse."

The second game was not much kinder for Middle Tennessee as they fell to the host Kennesaw State Owls 11-1.

The squad came out with high intensity in the first two innings. The top of the second produced the lone Blue Raider run, scored by Freshman Nina Davenport in a pitch running situation for Kaycee Popham. Popham originally singled then advanced to second on a wild pitch before being pitch run for by Davenport. Junior Brittney Banania singled and a throwing error on the play by the Owl shortstop allowed for Davenport to score easily.

Unfortunately, Kennesaw quickly answered in the next half of the second putting two runs across on starter Caty Jutson deflating the Blue Raider momentum. Freshman Kristi Marquez made a spectacular double play to end the frame snagging a hotshot to the corner easily tagging third and then making the toss to first for complete the twin killing.

Freshman Janele Robinson would come in relief for Jutson in the third giving up eight runs, seven earned, and striking out one.

Overall decisiveness at the plate hurt the Middle Tennessee offense. With a strong off-speed hurling in Danielle Glosson tossing for SIU calling for patient at bats by the Blue Raiders followed by the attacking hard throwing Abbey Meixel of Kennesaw State. The hitters were not able to make the necessary adjustments between games.

"The intensity was not there at the end. We did not do a good job of finishing the innings. We must play every game like it is the top of the seventh and we are up by one. The intensity and attack cannot stop."

The team will return to action tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., as they face Alabama State followed by Western Illinois at 6:00 a.m. Full results and coverage will be available on goblueraiders.com.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.