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Softball drops doubleheader to FIU

Ysais four RBIs on the day

April 17, 2010 · Christian Lemon

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee softball, despite a strong effort, could not muster a win Saturday as the team dropped a conference doubleheader to the FIU Golden Panthers, losing 7-6 in the first game and 6-2 in the second. Middle Tennessee fell to 15-22 overall, 5-12 in conference as Florida International moved to 28-15, 10-5 in Sun Belt play.

In the first game, Middle Tennessee's six runs came on 11 hits as the team allowed no errors while leaving nine runners base. FIU scored seven runs off 16 hits, giving up six errors and leaving eight runners on base.

Lindsey Vander Lugt took her 13th loss of the season in nine innings of work. She struck out seven batters issuing one walk.

Kristi Marquez scored the first run of the game in the third on a Kelsey Dortch single, her 11th RBI of the season. Following a Corrie Abel single, Natalie Ysais doubled to score both runners. Kaycee Popham drove Ysais home on the next play giving the Blue Raiders a 4-0 lead. Popham now has nine RBIs in the last nine games.

The Golden Panthers responded in the fourth, loading the bases on the first three batters before second baseman Brie Rojas knocked in the first run of the game. FIU would score one more run before Vander Lugt ended the inning with two strikeouts.

Middle Tennessee tacked on two more runs in the fifth as Dortch was driven in by Brittney Banania and Popham was able to come around on a throwing error on the play, extending the lead to 6-2.

Florida International refused to go down without fight, belting five consecutive hits for two runs. Vander Lugt dug deep for a clutch strikeout with runners at second and third, ending the rally, 6-4. FIU tied the game in the seventh, sending the game to extra innings.

In the ninth, the Golden Panther's Jessi Alfonso scored the winning run off the bat of Brie Rojas. The game ended 7-6.

The Blue Raiders wasted no time scoring runs in the second game, as Ysais blasted a two-run shot over the centerfield wall for her third of the season. Ysais has a team-leading 19 RBIs.

FIU took a 3-2 lead in the fourth, scoring three earned runs, two on a double to right centerfield off the bat of Morgan Huling.

Two more Golden Panther home runs off Robinson in the sixth pushed the lead to 6-2.

In the loss, Middle Tennessee scored two runs on seven hits with one error and left nine runners on base. Florida International's six runs came off 12 hits while allowing one error and leaving eight on base.

The Blue Raiders will look to avenge today's losses in tomorrow's series finale at Blue Raider Field. First pitch will be at 11 a.m. with live stats and coverage available on GoBlueRaiders.com.

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