Late-inning rally once again costs softball

MT falls 5-2 and 10-5

April 10, 2012 · Athletic Communications

MURRAY, Ky. -- Murray State first baseman Leslie Bridges hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie and lead the Racers to a 5-2 victory over Middle Tennessee in the opening game of the teams’ doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon.

The game began with the Blue Raiders getting on the board in the top of the first when Kaycee Popham’s run-scoring single scored Nina Davenport to give Middle Tennessee a 1-0 lead.

Both teams then went scoreless until the Racers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Megan Glosser led off the inning with an infield single. She advanced to third when Mo Ramsey laid down a bunt single and Popham’s throw to first went array, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Bridges then singled up the middle to score Glosser but Ramsey was cut down at the plate on a strike from left fielder Chelsea Good.

Blue Raider starter Caty Jutson and Murray State pitcher CheyAnne Gaskey pitched in and out of jams all game as the contest went to the bottom of the sixth tied at 1-1.

Christian Cox began the inning with a single to left and consecutive infield hits by Glosser and Ramsey loaded the bases with none out to set the stage for Bridges’ grand slam.

Middle Tennessee added a run in the top of the seventh on a Natalie Ysais sacrifice fly, but it was not enough as the Blue Raiders fell by a final of 5-2.

Jutson took the loss for Middle Tennessee as she allowed five runs in five innings pitched. Shelby Kosmecki got the win in relief for the Racers, going two innings while giving up a run on two hits.

Popham and Ysais both tallied a pair of hits and an RBI to lead the Blue Raiders offensively. Bridges led the way for Murray State with her grand slam and a total of five runs batted in.

Davenport led off Game 2 with a single up the middle and later scored on a Ysais groundout to put the Blue Raiders up 1-0 after one half inning.

Murray State countered in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs on Ramsey’s two-run single up the middle. The Racers then went up 5-1 in the third when Casey Castille launched a three-run home run over the center field fence.

After Murray State posted single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to build a 7-1 advantage, Middle Tennessee got back in the game with a three-run sixth. Nina Dever singled and Ysais followed with a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. Popham then brought Dever home with a single to center and two batters later Chelsea Good made it 7-3 with an RBI single of her own. After a Laura Dukes walk, Samantha Nieves tallied Middle Tennessee’s third run-scoring single of the inning, scoring Woodruff to cut the deficit to 7-4 heading to the bottom of the sixth.

Murray State responded in the bottom of the frame, however, putting up a three-spot of its own. The big blow of the inning came on Castille’s second home run of the game, this one a two-run shot, putting the Racers up 10-4.

Like Game 1, Middle Tennessee would not go down without a fight as Dever and Ysais notched one-out singles to put runners on first and second. Following a Popham foul out, Woodruff brought home Dever to cut the deficit to 10-5. Good lined out to second base, though, to end the rally as the Blue Raiders fell 10-5.

Middle Tennessee fell to 12-20 overall at the conclusion of the day while Murray State improved its record to 17-13.

Middle Tennessee starter Shelby Stinnett surrendered six runs (three earned) in three innings and got the loss. Chelsey Sullivan threw 5.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits to pick up the win for Murray State.

Woodruff and Good both went 2-4 with an RBI for the Blue Raiders in Game 2. Meanwhile Castille’s two home runs and five runs knocked in paced the Racer offensive attack.

Middle Tennessee will aim to get back on track on Wednesday when the squad faces Southeast Missouri in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. CT.

Follow the Blue Raider softball team on Twitter @MT_Softball and on Facebook at the MTSU Softball page. Also, stay up-to-date on the team with the latest softball news and information at the brand-new “Softball Notebook” page which can be found here.

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