Softball beats conference best
Abel goes 3-4 in game one winApril 6, 2010 · Christian Lemon
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's Lindsey Vander Lugt threw a complete game to lead the Blue Raider softball team to its first victory in four seasons over the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, a 4-1 decision. The team would drop the second game of the doubleheader 2-1 in eight innings.
Middle Tennessee beat Louisiana for just the third time in 35 games and the first time since April of 2007. The team took two of three from ULL in the 2007 series.
Head coach Sue Nevar commented, "They are the best team in our conference and we proved to ourselves we can play with them. We did not make the mental mistakes today we have made in other games."
In the first game, Middle Tennessee scored four runs, off nine hits while allowing three errors leaving seven on-base. Louisiana scored one run off five hits. They allowed no errors and left seven runners on-base.
Vander Lugt threw 7.0 innings of work en route to her 12th win of the season. She struck out six Cajun hitters while allowing only one run off five hits. Her season ERA drops to 2.51 for the year.
Jessica Ives scored the second run of the game on a solo-homerun to leftfield giving the team a 2-0 lead. This was Ives' first homer of the year, fifth of her career.
Natalie Ysais added two more runs blasting a towering right-field homerun in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead. Ysais continues to lead the team with 14 RBIs.
Vander Lugt fought through a scare in sixth inning as she allowed three straight hits giving up one run. The Olympia, Wash., native showed incredible guile and tenacity putting down the next three hitters minimizing the damage and leaving the score 4-1.
Abel was the leading hitter for the Blue Raiders going 3-4 with a double. She advanced her hitting streak to eight games after the first contest. She would go hitless in the second game ending her streak. Her season batting average moves to .330 at day's end.
In the second game, Caitlin McLure scored the first run of the game for the Blue Raiders. It came by way of a Natalie Ysais grounder pushing McLure home from third. This evened the score at 1-1 after UL hit a solo-homer in the second.
Freshman pitcher Janele Robinson was superb, tossing 8.0 innings, striking out two and allowing two runs off two hits. She would take the loss and moved to 1-3 for the year.
The Blue Raiders had a chance to take the second game and the series in the seventh inning with base runners at second and third and only one out. Unfortunately, the team could not get the winning run across the plate.
This gave UL's Lana Bower's the opportunity to blast her second homer of the day to dead center and the Ragin' Cajuns a 2-1 lead. They would not relinquish this lead.
"We are so proud of Janele. As a freshman she played with the big dogs in our league and gave up only two runs. Going forward she and our other young players know what it feels like to compete the nation's best."
Tomorrow's series finale will be just Middle Tennessee's second chance in program history to win a three game set against Louisiana. The game will begin at 2 p.m. at Blue Raider Field. Full coverage and live audio will be available at GoBlueRaiders.com.
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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