Errors cripple softball in 9-1 defeat

Blue Raiders drop both doubleheader contests

April 14, 2012 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Middle Tennessee softball team committed seven errors including three in both the first and fourth innings, leading to a 9-1 loss to UL-Lafayette in the second game of the teams’ doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.

The Ragin’ Cajuns tallied four runs on two hits and three Blue Raider errors to build an early 4-0 lead after one half inning of play. Christi Orgeron’s two-run home run was the big blow of the frame as UL-Lafayette took advantage of the three Middle Tennessee miscues.

The Blue Raiders cut the deficit to 4-1 on a solo homer off the bat of Natalie Ysais in the bottom of the inning.

Both squads went hitless over the next two innings as Middle Tennessee pitcher Caty Jutson and Ragin’ Cajun starter Jordan Wallace found their stride.

UL-Lafayette then posted a five-run fourth inning as it benefited from another trio of Blue Raider miscues. Mattelaine Haack’s two-run single made it 9-1, giving the Ragin’ Cajuns the important eight-run lead.

Needing a run to keep the game going, Middle Tennessee put two runners on in the fourth and another on in the fifth but were unable to cross home plate, falling 9-1 in five innings.

Jutson was the hard-luck loser in Game 2 as she pitched all five innings while giving up five hits. All nine runs she allowed were unearned. The victory went to Wallace who also went the distance, surrendering one run on three hits.

The Blue Raiders were led offensively by Ysais who went 1-3 with a run scored. Orgeron paced UL-Lafayette at the plate with her home run and three runs batted in.

Like the second game of the day, a pair of multiple-run innings proved costly as the Ragin’ Cajuns came away with an 8-0 five-inning victory in the opener.

UL-Lafayette began the game by loading the bases with one out, but Nina Dever made a spectacular diving catch on a line drive off the bat of Haack and threw to first to double off Orgeron to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.

After both squads went up-and-down in order over the next inning-and-a-half, Christi Orgeron blasted a grand slam over the right field fence to put UL-Lafayette up 4-0. The Ragin Cajun’s then took a 5-0 lead on a double-steal in which Haack swiped home.

The Ragin’ Cajuns extended their lead to 8-0 with three more runs in the fourth. Nerissa Myers notched a two-run double and Orgeron added a run-scoring two-bagger of her own to give the squad an eight-run advantage.

The Middle Tennessee offense was never able to get on track as Nina Davenport’s fourth-inning single was the only hit the Blue Raiders could collect off UL-Lafayette starter Ashley Brignac.

With the game on the line in the fifth, the Blue Raiders went in order, losing 8-0 in five innings.

Middle Tennessee starter Shelby Stinnett tossed 3.1 innings, surrendering eight runs on seven hits to get the loss. Brignac was the winner for UL-Lafayette as she tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing just one hit.

Davenport’s hit was Middle Tennessee’s only offense in Game 1 while Orgeron paved the way for the Ragin’ Cajuns with her grand slam and five total RBIs.

With Saturday’s results, the Blue Raiders fell to 12-24 overall, 2-9 in the Sun Belt while UL-Lafayette improved to 37-2, 12-2.

“You cannot win games against good teams when you play the way we did today,” said Middle Tennessee head coach Sue Nevar. “Defensively, we played about as poorly as you can play in that second game. Our hitting also let us down in both games. We will put today behind us and come out ready to go on Sunday.”

Middle Tennessee will aim to salvage the final game of the series when the teams meet Sunday at noon.

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.