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Softball senior day to determine season

Team looking for doubleheader sweep to qualify for SBC tournament

May 7, 2010 · Christian Lemon

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee softball team will honor its 2010 Senior class before the first game of the regular-season doubleheader finale against WKU at Blue Raider Field on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The 2010 Senior class of Jessica Ives, Caitlin McLure and Lindsey Vander Lugt have been the cornerstone of the team for the past four years and will be recognized at 12:45 p.m.

The seniors will not be able to reflect on their career long as the Blue Raiders will be fighting to keep their season alive in the doubleheader with Western Kentucky. Do to the incredibly close Sun Belt standings, the two must teams are playing for the eighth and final slot in Sun Belt Conference post-season tournament.

Middle Tennessee enters the doubleheader 19-30 on the year and 5-17 in the conference. WKU boasts a 27-23 overall record, 6-13 in the Sun Belt. The Blue Raiders are currently one game behind the Hilltoppers in the standings and must sweep the doubleheader if they are to continue play in 2010. MT fell in a crucial single game at WKU, 3-1, last Thursday.

"This is it," said head coach Sue Nevar. "We are playing for our season. It has been an up and down year, but we still control our destiny and know we can beat any team on any day. The two most important games of our season are at home on senior day. What else can you ask for?"

Middle Tennessee has struggled as of late, dropping its previous seven contests after winning four in a row two weeks ago.

History could be made this weekend as Vander Lugt needs just 11 strikeouts to reach 610 for her career, tying her with Stayc Preator for second most in Middle Tennessee history. Because of the do or die situation the Blue Raiders face, Vander Lugt is expected to throw both games.

McLure set the Middle Tennessee record for stolen bases on Thursday at Lipscomb. The Anaheim, Calif., native stole two bases in the first inning of the secong game to give her 70 for her career passing Jaime Polsteen.

Live stats and full coverage for this weekend's games will be available at GoBlueRaiders.com.

The 2010 Softball Senior Class

Jessica Ives

Jessica Ives has started 74 games as a Blue Raider including 25 as a senior. In 2010, Ives has a .228 average with four doubles, one homerun and five RBIs. For her career, the Chattanooga, Tenn., native has driven in 21 runs. Twice, Ives has three RBIs in a single contest. The team vocal leader on the field, Ives' roles of support have extended well beyond the playing field.

Jessica will graduate in December with a degree in Exercise Science. She has been named to the MT Dean's List three times and the Honor Roll four times. Jessica has made the Sun Belt Commissioner's List once and the SBC Honor Roll once. She has been involved with charities including Read to Succeed.

Caitlin McLure

Caitlin McLure, a four year starter for the Blue Raiders, has amassed a brilliant career as one of the top lead-off hitters and baserunners in school history. McLure boasts a solid career average of .262 and leaves Middle Tennessee with the second walks and sacrifice hits in school history. On Thursday at Lipscomb, McLure stole two bases to pass Jamie Polsteen for most career steels by a Blue Raider with 70. The speedster's 25 stolen bases in 2010 are the third most in a single-season in school history. Twice, McLure has stolen three bases in a single game, a school record. In the outfield, the Anaheim, Calif., native has an outstanding fielding percentage of .942 in 204 appearances games.

Caitlin will graduate in December with a degree in Special Education upon completely her student teaching in the fall. She has been named to the Dean's List six times and the Sun Belt Commissioner's List two times. She is a member of a Chi Sigma Alpha Athletic Honor Society and been involved with charities including Read to Succeed.

Lindsey Vander Lugt

Lindsey Vander Lugt leaves Middle Tennessee as one of the top three pitchers in Middle Tennessee history. Since she first arrived in Murfreesboro, the Olympia, Wash., native has been a workhorse for the team and finishes her career as the school record holder for innings pitched, appearances and starts by a pitcher. Her 65 career wins are the second most in school history. The senior needs just 12 strikeouts to tie Stayc Preator for second most in MT history. She also sits third career ERA and fewest walks. In 2008, Vander Lugt became the first Blue Raider pitcher to win the NCAA statistical pitching category for fewest walks allowed.

As a senior, she has has appeared in 36 of the team's 47 games for a total of 210.2 innings. She has 11 complete games with no earned runs given up. In a five game span this season, Vander Lugt threw an astounding 34 consecutive shut out innings, including a no-hitter and back-to-back ten-inning shut out contests. Lindsey is currently ranked in the top five in the NCAA for fewest walks allowed by a pitcher.

Lindsey will graduate in December with a degree in Elementary Education upon completely her student teaching. She has been named to the Dean's List seven times and the Sun Belt Commissioner's List three times. Vander Lugt is also a member of Chi Sigma Alpha and been involved with charities including Read to Succeed.

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