Softball splits doubleheader at Jacksonville State

Vander Lugt pitched 10 shut out innings in first contest

March 24, 2010 · Christian Lemon

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -Lindsey Vander Lugt set a new Middle Tennessee record for starts by a pitcher on Wednesday as the Blue Raiders took the first game of a doubleheader 1-0 against Jacksonville State. The team fell in the second game 5-1 to finish the day 9-11 overall for the season.

It was a true pitchers dual in the first game as Vander Lugt went 10.0 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts while allowing no walks and five hits edging her JSU opposition Hilary Phillips who tossed 9.2 scoreless frames striking out eight hitters before allowing the winning run. Vander Lugt extended her longest winning streak of her career, five games, moving to 8-6 on the year with an ERA of 2.14.

Middle Tennessee's first scoring opportunity came in the top of the third inning as Kelsey Dortch walked with two outs. She would eventually move to third after two consecutive infield hits by Caitlin McLure and Corrie Abel. Unfortunately, the Blue Raiders left all three stranded to end the inning.

In the top of the fourth, Jessi Couch led off smacking her first double of the season to leftfield. Kandra Singleton would single with two outs, but again the Blue Raiders could not manufacture the needed hit to score the run.

The two pitchers would battle for the next five innings before Kaycee Popham came across the plate in the top of the 10th thanks to a JSU error. Popham stole third after originally being placed on second as a result of the international tie-breaker rule. Vander Lugt would shut the door in the bottom half of the inning for the Raiders' ninth victory of the season.

Middle Tennessee did not waste anytime scoring in the second game as Natalie Ysais drove a deep sacrifice fly to center to bring Dortch across the plate to take and early1 -0 lead.

The Gamecocks struck back in the second when Kaycee Crow knocked a two-run homer off Janele Robinson to take the lead. The team would add another run in the third to extened their lead to 3-1.

Robinson would be stuck with the loss as she fell to 1-2 on the season as her ERA rose to 5.24. She struck out one batter. Caty Jutson would come in for relief throwing 4.0 innings and tallying two strikeouts, while allowing two walks and three runs.

Dortch made the defensive play of the day as she fielded a soft single to center in the sixth and threw a perfect laser-beam toss home to gundown the runner.

The Blue Raiders return home to Blue Raider Field to take on the Ole Miss Rebels at 6 p.m. Thursday. Live audio and statistics will be available at GoBlueRaiders.com.

Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.