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Big innings undo softball at Southeast Missouri

Blue Raiders upended 8-2 and 10-3

April 11, 2012 · Athletic Communications

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- A Southeast Missouri seven-run fifth inning in Game 1 and a pair of five-run frames in the second game were too much for Middle Tennessee to overcome on Wednesday as the Blue Raiders fell by 8-2 and 10-3 margins.

Southeast Missouri began the afternoon with a run in the first on Taylor Cowan’s single to left field which scored Cheyenne Gipson and give the Redhawks a 1-0 lead after one inning.

The Blue Raiders countered in the top of the second with a pair of runs. Kelsey Woodruff recorded a one-out single and two batters later Laura Dukes launched a two-out, two-run blast over the wall in right field to put Middle Tennessee up 2-1.

Blue Raider starter Caty Jutson and Redhawk pitcher Alora Marble then found their grooves as both teams went scoreless in the third and fourth innings.

Southeast Missouri then broke the game open with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth. Simone Patterson’s two-run triple was the big blow as the Redhawks tallied six hits in the frame en route to taking an 8-2 lead.

Middle Tennessee appeared to put a couple of runs on the board in the top of the sixth when Kelsey Woodruff singled to left to score Dever and left fielder Shelby Stein’s error allowed Popham to score a second run. However, Woodruff was called out following the play due to not officially being re-entered into the game after being pinch run for earlier in the game. Middle Tennessee ended up failing to collect a run in the frame and still trailed 8-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth.

The Blue Raiders attempted to mount a rally in the seventh as Dukes singled and Samantha Nieves walked to put runners on first and second with none out. The next three batters went down in order, however, as Middle Tennessee fell 8-2.

Jutson received the loss as she gave up seven earned runs in four innings pitched. The win went to Marble who tossed a complete game, allowing just two earned runs on six hits.

Dukes went 3-3 at the plate with her two-run home run to pace the Blue Raiders at the plate. Patterson and Cowan both picked up a pair of RBIs to lead Southeast Missouri.

Middle Tennessee took an early 1-0 advantage in Game 2 when Nina Dever launched a first-inning solo home run to right field.

The lead was short lived, though, as Jamie Woodworth and Kaitlin Wallace both recorded two-run doubles in the bottom of the second as Southeast Missouri scored five runs to take a 5-1 lead after two innings.

The Blue Raiders cut the deficit in half in the top of the third when Kaycee Popham hit a two-run dinger just inside the right field foul pole to pull Middle Tennessee to within 5-3.

Middle Tennessee hurler Shelby Stinnett kept the Blue Raiders in the game as she held Southeast Missouri scoreless from the third through fifth innings, allowing just a pair of hits through the three frames.

The Blue Raiders were unfortunately unable to get any closer as Redhawk reliever Shea Cothren was just as effective as Stinnett after entering the game in the fourth inning. She limited Middle Tennessee to just two hits from the fourth through sixth innings.

The Redhawks then broke the game open in the sixth as they tallied another five runs on six hits in the frame, four coming with two outs. A Wallace RBI triple followed by a Renee Kertz run-scoring double highlighted the inning for Southeast Missouri as they took a 10-3 lead after six innings.

Kristi Marquez led off the top of the seventh with a single but Cothren sat down the next three Blue Raiders as Middle Tennessee fell 10-3.

With the pair of losses, Middle Tennessee dropped to 12-22 on the season while Southeast Missouri upped its record to 16-24.

Stinnett was tagged with the loss as she allowed all 10 Redhawk runs in 5.2 innings tossed. Cothren earned the win, throwing four frames of shutout ball while giving up just three hits.

Popham and Dever led the Blue Raiders offensively in Game 2 with their home runs while Woodworth and Wallace both knocked in three runs to pace Southeast Missouri.

Middle Tennessee will return home this weekend as the squad welcomes UL-Lafayette to Murfreesboro for a three-game Sun Belt series beginning Saturday.

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.

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