Softball wins wild one at FSU tourney finale

Abel five RBIs, Dortch seven putouts

February 20, 2011 · Athletic Communications

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -It was a wild finish to the 2011 Garnet and Gold Games for the Middle Tennessee softball team. As the Blue Raiders defeated Georgia Southern Eagles 9-7 in a back and fourth game on Sunday at JoAnne Graf Field.

It took 12 innings, but Middle Tennessee rode to a crazy 9-7 win. The Blue Raiders played with pride and determination on the day, pulling an important victory after a string of tough loses earlier in the weekend. Middle Tennessee dropped Saturday's morning contest to Georgia Southern 2-0. The team moves to 2-5 on the season. This is the first time a Blue Raider team has won a game in 12 innings.

The runs were early and often as the Eagles jumped out quickly, scoring three unanswered in the first two innings. The Blue Raiders made a rally scoring six total in the third and fourth. MT added another in the sixth, before GSU roared back with fourth in the bottom half of the inning.

Middle Tennessee opened up the scoring in the third in the top half of the third. Freshman Kayla Toney recorded two RBIs after roped a hard shot down the first base line to score Brittney Banania and Kelsey Dortch. Banania reached earlier on the inning on a walk, while Dortch reached first a fielder's choice on a successful sacrifice bunt attempt. The score remained 3-2 are three.

Middle Tennessee took the lead for the first time of the weekend, tacking on 4 runs in the fourth inning. MT loaded the bases early in the inning off walks by Jessi Couch and Banania walks. Dortch then filled the bags after taking a pitch off the wrist. Nina Davenport patiently worked a full-count walk to tie the game 3-3. Corrie Abel cleared the bases on the following at bat with a three-RBI double, giving the Raiders a 6-3 lead.

Added her fourth RBI of the game, tying a career high, in the sixth inning as she singled to left. Dortch came around from second for the team's seventh run.

Abel finally brought the game-leading run in the top half of the 12th inning. The Shorewood, Ill., native singled to third scoring Banania and Davenport. MT led 9-7.

Dorch played a great game in center field, setting a career high with six putouts. The Milan, Tenn., native made a great catch in the 12th, running a hard-hit ball down in the gap to make the catch. She ten whipped it second to force the double-play before the runner could make the tag.

Jordyn Fisherback shut the door coming in for a relieving Shelby Stinnett. Fisherback gets her first wins a Blue Raider.

The Blue Raiders return to action next weekend as they travel the War Eagle Classic in Auburn, Ala. Middle Tennessee will take on Marshall and Murray State Friday before playing Georgia Southern on Saturday, and Auburn on Sunday. Post-game results and Twitter updates were available on GoBlueRaiders.com and Twitter.com/MT_Softball.

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