Vander Lugt throws Raiders to two game sweep
Olympia native pitches first game no-hitterMarch 16, 2010 · Christian Lemon
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee softball team extended its winning streak to three games as they swept the doubleheader versus the Evansville Purple Aces on the arm of Lindsey Vander Lugt, who pitched all 14 innings of the day improving her record to 7-6 on the season as the team moves to 8-10 overall.
The team has its longest winning streak since February 21st of 2009 when the squad took four of four games. Vander Lugt has her first winning record since being a freshman.
"Our goal was to get her in the win column as much as possible this year," said head coach Sue Nevar. "She had so many heartbreaking loses last season. It makes it a lot easier to win when she has players hitting behind her."
In the first game, Lindsey Vander Lugt tossed a seven inning complete game no-hitter as the Blue Raiders moved to 7-10 on the season defeating the Evansville Purple Aces 5-0.
Vander Lugt allowed just two base runners en route to her sixth win of the season walking one and one runner reaching on error. The Olympia, Wash., native struck out six batters in the contest.
Natalie Ysais gave the Blue Raiders a 3-0 lead after the bottom of the first, launching a three-run homer to straight away centerfield driving in Kelsey Dortch and Corrie Abel. Dortch extended her current hitting streak to five games after the first game.
Jessi Couch would blast her second homerun of the season in the fifth inning to give the Raiders a 5-0 lead and Couch her sixth and seventh RBIs of the game. Couch drove home Ysais, who singled giving her three hits on the day.
In the field, Brittney Banania kept the no-hitter intact by making a spectacular diving stop to put out the runner at first with an out-stretched Popham receiving the ball to end the sixth.
"This is my first no-hitter of my collegiate career," said Vander Lugt. "Coach mentioned in the fourth inning, she expected a no-hitter and we all looked at her thinking she might have jinxed it. But it worked out for the best. We do things just a little differently here."
Vander Lugt would carry her no-hitter into the first inning of the second game putting down the first batter she faced. She would allow hits to the next two Purple Ace hitters.
She threw 14 total innings with 10 strikeouts, allowing two runs, walking only one between both games.
Ashia Terry hit her first homerun as a Blue Raider in fifth inning of the second game driving in Caitlin McLure who had swiped her 14th bag of the year giving her 59 for her career tying her with Kip Philips for second-most in Middle Tennessee history. The Blue Raiders led 3-2 at that point.
McLure would smack a two run single in the sixth inning to seal the victory for Middle Tennessee 5-2. The Anaheim, Calif., native went 3-4 in the game.
"They are making necessary corrections with their hitting," said Nevar. "The players hitting the shots are the ones making the changes. Soon all our players will be hitting the way these batters are hitting."
Middle Tennessee will have the next seven days off before traveling to Jacksonville State to take on the Gamecocks in doubleheader action on Wednesday before returning home to challenge the Rebels of Ole Miss on Thursday. Livestats and full coverage will be available on GoBlueRaiders.com.
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