Softball drops doubleheader to North Texas

Popham hits three-run homer in loss

April 10, 2010 · Christian Lemon

DENTON, Texas - The Middle Tennessee softball team dropped the doubleheader of its 2010 series with the North Texas Mean Green, Saturday. The team lost the first contest 2-0 before dropping the second game 12-4. The Blue Raiders fall to 13-19 on the season, 4-10 in conference.

In the opening contest, Middle Tennessee scored no runs off three hits, allowing two errors leaving four runners on base. North Texas scored two runs off six hits, giving up no errors leaving five runners left on base.

Lindsey Vander Lugt pitched all six innings, giving up two earned runs off six hits. She struck out seven Mean Green hitters. Vander Lugt moves to 12-12 with a 2.89 ERA and 123 strikeouts.

UNT struck early in the first with a towering solo-home run to right field off the bat of Mallory Cantler taking a 1-0 lead. North Texas added the second run of the game on a centerfield single in the third, bringing around the second-base runner.

At the plate, Kelsey Dortch, Brittney Banania and Caitlin McLure all went 1-2.

Defensively, Natalie Ysais threw out two North Texas base runners attempting to steal second base.

There was little change in the second game as the Blue Raiders could not muster significant offense losing the contest, 12-4. MT totaled seven hits and gave up one error. They left five runners on base. North Texas had 16 hits and gave up one error while leaving eight runners on base.

Janele Robinson was saddled with the loss going 3.0 innings allowing seven runs off 10 hits, striking out one and walking two. Robinson moves to 1-4 with an ERA of 4.72 and 31 strikeouts.

North Texas jumped out quickly, scoring four runs in the first frame. Lisa Johnson hit a solo-shot home run. Then, catcher Caitlin Grimes made the Blue Raiders pay for a walk and an error by smacking a three-run homer extending the lead to 4-0.

The Mean Green put the game out of reach in the fourth scoring two more runs against Robinson before Caty Jutson came in to relieve. UNT would put up five more runs against Jutson before the frame concluded. Jutson tossed one inning allowing six hits.

The Blue Raiders broke the shutout in the fifth as Kandra Singleton dropped a bunt single before being pushed to third on an error off the bat of McLure. Corrie Abel drove Singleton home on an infield hit. Kaycee Popham kept the game alive blasting a three-run homer with two outs to score Abel and Kelsey. Dortch reached on a fielder's choice. North Texas would get the third out on the next batter ending the inning, 11-4. It was Popham's second homer of the year and nine RBIs.

"Today was not our not day," said head coach Sue Nevar. "Lindsey pitched well enough for to win the win first game, but we did not help her at the plate. Then, our pitching could not find rhythm in the second game."

The Blue Raiders will try to take the series finale against North Texas tomorrow at noon. Live stats and full coverage will be available at GoBlueRaiders.com.

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