Softball splits doubleheader at Memphis

Vander Lugt shuts out Tigers in first game

April 15, 2010 · Christian Lemon

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee split a midweek doubleheader against the Memphis Tigers on Thursday, taking the first contest 3-0 before falling 6-0 in the second game. The Blue Raiders move to 15-20 on the year. Memphis advances to 22-17.

In the first game, Lindsey Vander Lugt tossed her fifth shutout of the season, allowing four hits, striking out eight Tiger batters and giving up no free passes. The Olympia, Wash., native moves to 14-12 on the year with a 2.71 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 149.2 innings. Vander Lugt is 13-2 when Middle Tennessee scores the first run of the game.

In the win, Middle Tennessee totaled nine hits, no errors and left six runners on base. Memphis tallied four hits, gave up no errors while leaving four runners stranded.

In the first, Kaycee Popham drove in the first run of the contest, knocking a loop single to right scoring Corrie Abel for a 1-0 lead. Abel originally reached on a leadoff single. Popham has six RBIs on the last four games, 12 on the season.

Kristi Marquez worked a nice at bat in the fourth. The Del Ray Beach, Fla., native battled back from a quick 0-2 count before fouling off the next three pitches. She then squeezed a well placed single threw the middle of the infield to score Jessica Ives from second extending the lead to 2-0. Marquez has six RBIs for the season.

Natalie Ysais added one more insurance run in the fifth, when she drilled a long double to the right field just over the glove of the outstretched Tiger fielder. Her team-leading 15th RBI scored Caitlin McLure from second on the play. McLure originally reached on a bunt single and raised her average to .444 over last eight games.

Janele Robinson took the circle in the second game, but found hot water early surrendering three hits to the first three Tiger batters for two quick runs. She gave up the third run of the game in the second inning before Caty Jutson came in relief. Robinson would re-enter in the sixth, tossing a total of 2.2 innings with four hits, no strikeouts, and one walk.

Jutson would not fair better, giving up three runs off hits, striking out no batters and walking two in 3.1 innings of work.

The Blue Raiders could not find their stroke at the plate in the second game. The team did not record a hit until the sixth inning when Abel laced a single up the middle. Later in the inning, Popham had a chance to cut into the Tigers' 6-0 lead with the bases loaded. Unfortunately, Memphis first-baseman Jessica Philips snared a hot shot killing the potential Blue Raider rally. This was Middle Tennessee's best chance to score in the game.

Middle Tennessee recorded two hits, three errors and left four runners on base in the losing effort. Memphis scored six runs off nine hits and allowed two errors. They left seven runners on base.

The Blue Raiders will return to action this weekend as they play host to the FIU Golden Panthers on Saturday and Sunday at Blue Raider Field. Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m. with the Sunday finale starting at 11 a.m. Live stats, audio and full coverage will be available at GoBlueRaiders.com.

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