The Blue Raiders softball team took the first half of a double header against South Alabama Saturday in dramatic fashion as junior Kelsey Woodruff’s walk-off homerun game Middle Tennessee a 3-1 victory.
Pitching was the story throughout the game as Raider freshman Jordyn Fisherback matched up against South Alabama sophomore Morgan Druhan on the mound.
Both teams were hitless until Middle Tennessee broke through in the fourth inning. The inning began with back-to-back walks for the Raiders before a double play left one runner on second with two outs.
Raider coach Sue Nevar elected to pinch run Kandra Singleton for Corrie Abel at second base.
The move worked out for Middle as Kayla Toney double down the third base line to drive in the game’s first hit on the game’s first hit.
South Alabama ended Fisherback’s not-hit bid in the fifth inning, giving up three consecutive hits in the inning. With runners on South Alabama’s Jenny Stevens hit a hard ground ball to shortstop to bring the runner home from third.
Fisherback responded to allowing a run by striking out the next two batters to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth Middle put two batters on with no outs but were not able to bring them around to score.
The game neared extra innings with Nina Davenport at the plate with two out. Davenport fouled off multiple pitches to keep her at bat alive before dropping a fly ball just over second base to reach first.
Woodruff came up to the plate next with two out and one on with a chance to win the game for the Blue Raiders.
She took the pitch to deep left-center field and out of the park to give Middle Tennessee a two-run, walk-off homerun for the victory.
Fisherback struck out six in seven innings, allowing only one run. Davenports two hits were the most for any player and designated hitter Corrie Abel drew two of Middle Tennessee’s five walks.
The second game would not be so kind to the Raiders as a flurry of errors only added injury to a dismal offensive performance.
After walking the second batter she faced, South Alabama pitcher Hannah Campbell was perfect for 6.2 innings.
Campbell's near perfect game ended with and 8-0 victory for South Alabama and her first ever no hitter.
On Middle Tennessee's defensive side things were not going so well. Of the eight runs allowed by the Blue Raiders, four of them came unearned.
Throwing and fielding errors put Raider pitcher Janele Robinson in an early hole she was never able to dig out of.
A two-run homerun in the top of the sevent epitomized the second game for the team.
Despite a horrific second game, the Raiders will have a chance to return to the field tomorrow to face a 26-7 South Alabama team with a chance to win the three-game series.
Middle will play South Alabama at noon Sunday on Blue Raider Field on the campus of MTSU. Players will be made availabe to sign autographs after the game.