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WKU Softball’s Olivia Watkins Signs with Pro Team Akron Racers

WKU Softball’s Olivia Watkins Signs with Pro Team Akron Racers

Posted on 23 May 2014 by Allen

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Western Kentucky University softball player Olivia Watkins is continuing her playing career after signing on to play with the Akron Racers, the organization announced Wednesday.

Watkins becomes the first player in program history to play with the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league after finishing her career on The Hill as the all-time leader in batting average (.380), stolen bases (117) and stolen bases attempts (129).

“Olivia brings a whole new dimension to our offense,” Racers General Manager Joey Arrietta said. “She’s exciting to watch, and she’s very solid defensively.”

Watkins finished her college career in 2014 by setting numerous single-season school records, including batting average (.442), runs (51), hits (87) and stolen bases (55) while she led the nation in stolen bases and top 15 nationally in batting average. The Florence, Ala., native was caught stealing just three times in her 58 attempts this past season while going 21-for-21 in swiped bags against league opponents. Additionally, Watkins struck out only 13 times in 197 at-bats.

The second baseman was also named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Central Region Third Team in 2014 and First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference for the second-straight year. She received First-Team All-Region honors in 2013 after hitting .378 with 49 runs and 38 stolen bases.

Watkins joins an Akron team with familiar Sun Belt Conference faces, as Louisiana-Lafayette’s Nerissa Meyers and Brianna Cherry are on the roster while South Alabama’s Hannah Campbell was drafted by the Racers in this year’s draft. WKU assistant coach Aja Paculba also played for the Racers for two seasons.

The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, are the oldest existing team in the NPF. The Racers competed in the Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play. The Racer kick-off their 13th season of play in 2014. For more information about the Akron Racers, visit akronracers.org.

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Five Lady Toppers Named as All-Sun Belt Conference Honorees

Five Lady Toppers Named as All-Sun Belt Conference Honorees

Posted on 07 May 2014 by Allen

WKU

Five members of the Western Kentucky University softball team were selected to the All-Sun Belt Conference Team, as announced by the league office during Family Night Tuesday evening on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Seniors Olivia Watkins and Kelsie Mattox along with junior Preslie Cruce were each named to the All-Conference First Team while seniors Amanda Thomas and Emily Rousseau were selected to the league’s second team.

The five selections tie the most that the Lady Toppers (32-22-1, 11-10) have garnered in program history, tying the five honorees selected in 2004 and 2013. This year’s honorees were each of WKU’s five student-athletes named to the All-Conference list last season. Mattox and Cruce are both three-time selections while it is the first time that Cruce has been named to the first-team list.

Watkins was the league’s first-team selection at second base, as she leads the nation and league with 53 stolen bases. She is also ranked in the top 20 nationally with a .436 batting average, as she is the only player in the country to rank top 10 in stolen bases and top 20 in batting average. A first-team honoree last season, Watkins continues to have a stellar senior season and career on The Hill, as she has set single-season records in batting average, runs, hits, multi-hit games and stolen bases while she will end her career as the all-time leader in stolen bases and batting average.

Cruce was chosen as the third baseman for the first team after ranking second on the team with a .310 batting average. Cruce leads the team with seven home runs, 35 runs scored and 23 hit by pitches while third with 10 doubles and 31 RBI. Cruce has earned an All-Conference nod in each of her three seasons after becoming a solid defenseman at the hot corner. The Alabama native has worked her way into numerous top-five career records, including first with 66 hit by pitches. As previously mentioned, this is the first time Cruce has been named to the league’s first team.

Mattox earned first-team accolades as an at-large selection, as the outfielder was a first-team honoree a year ago and second-team selection in 2012. Mattox is third on the team with a .309 batting mark and second in doubles with 12 and RBI with 37. The Alpharetta, Ga., product is showing patience at the plate, as she leads the team in walks with 33. She is WKU’s all-time leader in walks with 85 in her career and continues to climb the career record in numerous categories with each game played, as she has only missed out on starting in one game over four

After becoming WKU’s all-time leader in home runs, RBI and many other rankings, Thomas will leave the program as a two-time All-SBC selection after this year’s honor at shortstop. Thomas boasts a team-high 49 RBI, 15 doubles and seven sacrifice flies, which ranks second in nation in the sac fly column. Originally from Mesquite, Texas, Thomas is among the top five of active players in Division I softball with 234 games played during her career.

Last season’s SBC Pitcher of the Year, Rousseau continues to be one of the stronger pitchers in the league, as she was one of two pitchers selected to the All-SBC Second Team. It’s the second-straight year for Rousseau to be an All-Conference selection, as she has spent the most time in the circle this season for WKU. The Louisiana native has 38 appearances this year for 217.1 innings pitched. Her 168 strikeouts helped her become WKU’s all-time strikeout leader, as she now holds 555 in her career. Rousseau has 17 wins this season for 58 in her three years at WKU, including a big win this season at No. 2 Tennessee where the right-handed pitcher struck out a season-high 10 batters.

To view the full list of All-Sun Belt Conference winners along with those selected as specialty award recipients, visit SunBeltSports.org.

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Hot Bats Give No. 20 South Alabama 9-5 Win over WKU Softball

Hot Bats Give No. 20 South Alabama 9-5 Win over WKU Softball

Posted on 28 April 2014 by Allen

WKU Softball

No. 20 South Alabama (37-10, 14-5) had the hot bats early, as the Western Kentucky University softball team (31-20-1, 10-8) fell 9-5 in the series finale at the WKU Softball Complex on Sunday.

Hits and runs came late for WKU, as the Lady Toppers finished with nine hits. Senior Amanda Thomas had three hits in her four trips to the plate, finishing with a pair of RBI. Senior Kelsie Mattox and sophomore Brooke Holloway posted two hits each while Holloway notched two runs.

All three WKU pitchers saw 2.1 innings in the circle, dishing out 16 total hits to the Jaguars while the visitors also capitalized on three errors by WKU. Senior Emily Rousseau (16-14) started the game, allowing eight hits with four earned runs and one strikeout. Freshman Hannah Miniard and junior Janna Scheff combined for the other eight hits with Miniard giving up two earned runs.

South Alabama’s Hannah Campbell (16-4) earned the win, as she had four earned runs and four strikeouts in the complete-game outing.

The Jaguars built a 6-0 lead after 3.5 innings of action, using 10 hits and one WKU error to build an early advantage. WKU added its first run to the scoreboard in the bottom fourth after an error by USA third baseman Emily Messer kept junior Shawna Sadler on base and allowed Mattox to score.

After a RBI double by Stephanie Pilkington in the fifth allowed South Alabama the run back, Holloway hit her team-high sixth home run of the season to set the score at 7-2 after five.

A pair of runs came in for the Jags in the next frame after a fielding error by Thomas allowed the first run before a single to center by Messer added the other for a 9-2 ballgame.

WKU had its best inning of the game in the seventh after a single by junior Jacqueline McGill opened the frame followed by a bunt single from senior Tiffany Gooch. Holloway added a hit to load the bases before a junior Preslie Cruce groundout brought in pinch runner Amber Williams. Thomas then doubled to right center field to score the final two runs and end the late rally.

The series completed the last home Sun Belt Conference series in program history and a grueling week for the Lady Toppers, as WKU faced teams in the top 25 or receiving votes, falling in five tough games.

The team looks to end a six-game skid with its final home game against Evansville on Tuesday, April 29 at 5 p.m. CT before heading to Georgia State for the final SBC and regular-season games with a meeting against the Panthers at 5 p.m. CT on Friday, May 2.

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Ivy Brown Named USA Today’s Kentucky Player of the Year

Ivy Brown Named USA Today’s Kentucky Player of the Year

Posted on 24 April 2014 by Allen

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Lady Topper Basketball signee Ivy Brown has been named the American Family Insurance USA Today Player of the Year from the state of Kentucky and a First Team All-State selection by USA Today, it was announced recently.

Brown starred at Hodgenville’s LaRue County High School. Brown averaged 24.4 points per game and 12.6 rebounds per game for the Lady Hawks as a senior. Brown owns the LaRue County career mark for career points, rebounds and steals.

She led LaRue County to a 24-7 record in 2013-14, including wins in 10 of the final 11 games of the season and an appearance in the Fifth Region Championship Game. Among the most notable moments of her final prep season was a Jan. 27, 2014 win over the top-ranked team in the state of Kentucky on the road, Elizabethtown, scoring 27 points, grabbing 19 rebounds and dishing out nine assists in the win.

It is no surprise that one of Kentucky’s finest will continue her playing career at WKU.

Some of WKU’s best teams have had a strong presence of Kentuckians. The 2014-15 team is expected to include at least five players from the Bluegrass State, including All-America candidate Chastity Gooch, a native of nearby Franklin. Homegrown talent has always enjoyed great success on the Hill. Four of top 10 scorers in program history were Kentucky Miss Basketball winners while eight of the top 10 scorers in program history are natives of the Bluegrass State. 24 of the 35 players that have scored 1,000 points or more in program history are natives of Kentucky.

Brown averaged 22.9 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and 3.5 assists per outing as a junior, ranking her among the top 10 scorers and top 15 rebounders in the state. She also shot over 50 percent from the field and hit 43 three-point field goals as she was named a First Team All-State performer by the Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader. Following the season, she was also named to the Kentucky Junior All-Star team.

As a sophomore, Brown led the Lady Hawks to a 17-11 record, averaging 19.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. She was named an Honorable Mention All-State selection by the Associated Press following the season. As a freshman, she helped the Lady Hawks reach the semifinals of the regional tournament and finish the season 27-4, winning the 2010 KME Classic at Trigg County over the holiday break.

Brown also excelled on the volleyball court, leading LaRue County to a 24-10 record in 2013 and an appearance in the semifinals of the regional tournament.

Earlier this week, Brown was named a First Team All-State selection by the Louisville Courier-Journal while fellow incoming freshman Shalika Smith of Glasgow was named a Second Team All-State selection by the Louisville Courier-Journal. The duo also earned the same honors from the Lexington Herald-Leader earlier this month while Brown was named the Lexington outlets’ statewide Player of the Year as well.

Brown and Smith are joined by Jaiveonna Norris (Chicago Heights, Ill.) and Tashia Brown (Lake Park, Ga.) in Lady Topper Basketball’s 2014 signing class.

Individuals interested in obtaining tickets for the 2014-15 women’s basketball season can CLICK HERE to complete a request form. Orders will be filled in the order they are received. The complete 2014-15 schedule and pricing for tickets will be announced at a later date. Individuals can call the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG-RED to learn more about season ticket opportunities, visit www.wkusports.com or visit the ticket office in E.A. Diddle Arena.

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Texas State Uses Four Home Runs to Power Past WKU 11-2

Texas State Uses Four Home Runs to Power Past WKU 11-2

Posted on 19 April 2014 by Allen

WKU

Texas State came with the power on Saturday, as the Bobcats (22-26, 5-10) used 11 hits, including four home runs, to get past the Western Kentucky University softball team (31-15-1, 10-5) by a score of 11-2 in five innings to avoid the series sweep.

Texas State came out swinging out of the gates, as the Bobcats hit back-to-back home runs in its first two at-bats to take a 2-0 lead after the first. Another home run in the first at-bat of the second made it 3-0 before a bases-loaded walk gave the home team a 4-0 advantage by the frame’s end.

WKU cut the lead with two runs off of the team’s lone three hits of the game after junior Jacqueline McGill doubled to open the third. Freshman India Steward then hit a RBI triple down the right field line to add the first run followed by junior Preslie Cruce notching a RBI double in the same area to set the score at 4-2.

The Bobcats quickly cushioned its lead after four more runs in the fourth coming off of a sacrifice fly and two RBI singles before Texas State closed the game in the fifth with a two-run home run cutting the game short on the mercy rule.

All three WKU pitchers saw time in the circle, as senior Emily Rousseau (16-10) took the loss after three runs on three hits in one inning of action closed her line to go with three strikeouts. Freshman Hannah Miniard gave up five hits and six runs with five walks and three strikeouts in 2.1 innings while junior Janna Scheff allowed three hits and two runs with one walk in the game’s final inning.

Texas State’s Rayn House (19-16) had all five innings for the Bobcats, striking out seven batters.

WKU is back in action with five home games next week, beginning with Kentucky on Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT. Lipscomb then follows on Wednesday before South Alabama becomes WKU’s last home Sun Belt Conference opponent this weekend.

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WKU Softball Defeats Middle Tennessee 4-2 in Eight Innings

WKU Softball Defeats Middle Tennessee 4-2 in Eight Innings

Posted on 16 April 2014 by Allen

WKU Softball

The Western Kentucky University softball team (29-14-1) forced extra innings after tying the game in the seventh to leave Murfreesboro with a 4-2 win in eight innings against Middle Tennessee (7-37) on Wednesday.

WKU has played in three extra-inning games this season, winning all three. The team hasn’t lost an extra-inning contest since the 2012 season, falling to South Alabama at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in eight. Since then, WKU is 5-0 in extra innings.

Freshman Hannah Miniard went 5.2 innings, holding MT scoreless through five before giving up two runs in the sixth. Miniard had six hits against her and five strikeouts before junior Janna Scheff (2-0) came in during the sixth to take the win. Scheff held MT scoreless while giving up two hits. MT’s Jordyn Fisherback (3-12) took the loss after going the final three innings with three runs, two earned, on four hits to her name.

WKU totaled seven hits in the game with junior Jacqueline McGill and sophomore Brooke Holloway totaling two each. The Blue Raiders’ pitchers handed out seven walks with senior Kelsie Mattox taking three of them and junior Preslie Cruce with a pair of walks.

After being scoreless through four innings, WKU took a 1-0 lead in the fifth after sophomores Bethany Oglesby and Holloway hit back-to-back singles to open the frame. With Oglesby on third after an error and Holloway at second after a steal, a walk to senior Olivia Watkins loaded the bases with no outs. A pair of forceouts to home put two outs on the board before a walk to Mattox added the run.

MT would take over the lead in the bottom sixth, as a two-out, two-run home run by Laura Dukes put the Blue Raiders on the board. LaRi Mitchell would add the other run, as she was walked to start the inning.

The Lady Toppers tied the ballgame when they needed to, making it a 2-2 contest in the top seventh. Holloway reached on an error before making her way to third on another Blue Raider error. The Texas native would come home on a hit by Cruce.

In the eighth inning, WKU opened the frame with Scheff and McGill putting down singles to get runners on base. With one out, a Holloway single loaded the bases, as an error would allow McGill to score in the next at-bat. Cruce then hit a RBI single to left center to bring in Oglesby for the game’s final run.

WKU is back in action on Friday, April 18, as the team travels to San Marcos, Texas, to face Sun Belt Conference newcomer Texas State. Friday’s doubleheader begins at 4 p.m. CT while Saturday will conclude the series with a noon CT first pitch.

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Watkins Becomes WKU Softball’s All-Time Steals Leader as Team Falls to No. 21 ULL

Watkins Becomes WKU Softball’s All-Time Steals Leader as Team Falls to No. 21 ULL

Posted on 06 April 2014 by Allen

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With her 31st steal of the season, Western Kentucky University softball senior Olivia Watkins became the program’s all-time steals leader as she swiped her 93rd base in her career in WKU’s (24-12-1, 6-2) losses to No. 21 Louisiana-Lafayette (27-6-1, 8-0) on Saturday afternoon.

Watkins is one of the top players in the Sun Belt Conference in stolen bases, as she ranks first in the league and fifth in the nation in stolen bases. Her 38 swiped bags last season ranks first in WKU’s single-season records, as she is on pace to break that number this year.

GAME ONE-No. 21 ULL 8, WKU 4

WKU was able to cut ULL’s lead early to one run, but three home runs by the Ragin’ Cajuns would lift the visitors to an 8-4 win in game one.

ULL hit a two-run home run by Haley Hayden with no outs in the first to take the early advantage before sophomore Brooke Holloway hit her fourth home run of the season to cut the lead to 2-1. A sacrifice fly and RBI single from ULL in the third put the Cajuns back on top 4-1.

The Lady Toppers quickly responded in the next half inning after a sacrifice fly in foul territory from senior Amanda Thomas scored junior Shawna Sadler before junior Jacqueline McGill placed a RBI single up the middle to bring in senior Tiffany Gooch and set the score at 4-3.

A three-run shot in the fourth and a solo home run in the fifth by ULL put the game at 8-3, but despite a run scored in the bottom seventh after a McGill sacrifice fly, the game would be out of reach for the Lady Toppers.

WKU left 11 on base, reaching on five hits, two hit by pitches and eight walks dealt out by Christina Hamilton (13-1) in her complete-game win. Senior Emily Rousseau (13-8) went six innings, giving up all 10 of ULL’s hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

GAME TWO-No. 21 ULL 11, WKU 5

The Lady Toppers again had the Ragin’ Cajuns within reach, but ULL hit its way to an 11-5 win to take the doubleheader sweep.

WKU took a 1-0 lead in its opening frame at the plate after junior Preslie Cruce started with a double that stayed just fair down the right field line. After Watkins was hit by pitch and Sadler moved the runners on a sacrifice bunt, Thomas walked to load the bases with two outs. Holloway then brought in Cruce after she was walked.

ULL took over the lead in the third after a two-run home run from Shelbi Redrearn before a six-run fourth inning put it at an 8-1 ballgame. ULL had six hits in the frame, including two home runs, that all came with two outs.

A RBI double from Thomas in the fifth made it an 8-2 game before Cruce’s three-run bomb over the center field wall cut the lead to 8-5 in the sixth. However, a pair of doubles helped ULL add on insurance runs in the top seventh and secure the 11-5 win.

Cruce led WKU at the plate, as she took two of WKU’s five hits from Jordan Wallace (12-2). Wallace went the distance, as she gave out seven walks while striking out seven.

Freshman Hannah Miniard (11-4) started the game, going the first 3.2 innings with eight hits, six walks and four strikeouts in her line. Junior Janna Scheff took the last 3.1 frames with six hits, three runs and two walks allowed with two strikeouts.

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WKU Softball tops UT Arlington 4-2

WKU Softball tops UT Arlington 4-2

Posted on 30 March 2014 by Allen

WKU Softball

The Western Kentucky University softball team (23-10-1, 6-0) stays undefeated in Sun Belt Conference while increasing its win streak to a season-long seven games after a 4-2 win in game three versus UT Arlington (14-21, 0-5) at Allen Saxe Field on Sunday.

Freshman Hannah Miniard (11-3) pitched another great game after throwing a no-hitter on Saturday, as she allowed the Mavericks four hits and two earned runs while walking three and striking out a season-high 12 batters. Five of her strikeouts came as the final out of an inning while Miniard caught nine batters looking in the contest.

UTA went with a trio pitchers as starter Callie Collins (7-9) took the loss after giving up three hits and three runs with only one earned in four innings of action. Shannon Carrico was the only pitcher to hold WKU scoreless in her two innings with no hits, one walk and one strikeout.

WKU’s top three batter in the lineup were the only ones to collect hits with senior Olivia Watkins and junior Shawna Sadler with two each while junior Preslie Cruce tabbed the other. Sophomores Brooke Holloway and Bethany Oglesby also reached base by walk and error, respectively.

A quick 1-0 started the game for WKU after Cruce reached base on a fielding error. She moved to second on a Watkins bunt before scoring the lone run after Sadler’s hit went to center where the fielder had trouble bringing it, causing a second error for the Mavs.

The lead increased to 3-0 in the third after Cruce and Watkins scored on a RBI single from Sadler. Miniard was able to hold the Mavs scoreless through 9.2 innings before a home run shot from Nina Villanueva cut WKU’s lead to 3-2 in the bottom third.

WKU cushioned its lead in the fifth, as Cruce opened the inning with a double down the right field line. Watkins followed by trading places with Cruce after putting a double to left center and setting the score at 4-2.

The Lady Toppers are back in action on Wednesday, April 2 as they host regional rival Middle Tennessee at 5 p.m. at the WKU Softball Complex. WKU then welcomes nationally-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette for a SBC weekend series.

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WKU Softball’s Emily Rousseau Named SBC Pitcher of the Week

WKU Softball’s Emily Rousseau Named SBC Pitcher of the Week

Posted on 24 March 2014 by Allen

WKU

Western Kentucky University softball senior Emily Rousseau was named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week after tossing her first career no-hitter on Sunday against Troy.

Rousseau led WKU to two wins during the week, as she only allowed three runs on 15 hits while striking out 23 batters and posting a 0.84 ERA. Rousseau threw her first career no-hitter in game three against Troy, notching the no-no in a 5-0 win. In the contest, Rousseau had a perfect outing going until the seventh inning before giving up a walk. It was WKU’s first no-hitter since 2012 and first in Sun Belt Conference action since 2006. The right-handed pitcher had two shutouts in the series versus Troy, as she now holds 13 shutouts during her three years on The Hill.

Rousseau hasn’t allowed a run in 20.1 innings and now has 100 strikeouts on the season. The scoreless run ranks fourth in WKU’s career consecutive scoreless innings streak just behind Ryan Rogge’s 20.2 innings in 2006. The Louisiana native ranks 33rd in the country in walks allowed per seven innings (1.12) and also ranks in the top 100 in the NCAA in strikeouts.

It is Rousseau’s first SBC weekly award this season and fifth in her career after earning the honor four times last season.

WKU (19-10-1) is back in action on Wednesday with a 4 p.m. contest at Murray State before returning to conference action on Saturday at UT Arlington.

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WKU Softball Handles Tennessee Tech 6-1

WKU Softball Handles Tennessee Tech 6-1

Posted on 12 March 2014 by Allen

WKU Softball

The Western Kentucky University softball team (16-8-1) had to battle cold air and wind, but the Lady Toppers took a 6-1 win at Tennessee Tech (8-18) on Wednesday afternoon.

Freshman Hannah Miniard (8-2) completed all seven innings with three hit given up with one earned run. The Kentucky native walked three while striking out eight batters. TTU’s Hannah Weaver took the loss after allowing five hits with five runs, two earned, to her named. She also walked three and struck out two in 3.2 innings of work.

WKU had six hits total for the contest, as the top five of the order all notched one. Senior Kelsie Mattox added half of the team’s runs while fellow classmate Amanda Thomas had two RBI.

With just one hit in the inning, WKU jumped to a 3-0 advantage after the top first frame of play. After the bases loaded off of junior Shawna Sadler’s bunt single, Thomas hit a sacrifice fly to right field for the first run. A double steal allowed Mattox to lift the score to 2-0 before a wild pitch brought Sadler around the bases.

TTU cut the lead in the latter half of the first after the Golden Eagles loaded the bases with no outs. Angi Sakamoto then put a sacrifice fly to right field for the score.

Mattox led off the third inning with a line-drive double to right center. The Georgia native moved to third on a groundout before scoring on Thomas’ RBI single to set the advantage at 4-1. With two outs in the next inning, Cruce powered a two-out home run through the rough winds to put WKU up 5-1.

Another sacrifice fly for WKU came off the bat of Sadler, as Mattox beat the throw home and extend the Lady Toppers’ lead to 6-1 in the top sixth.

WKU returns to its home field next week when the team takes on Louisville on Wednesday, March 19 at 5 p.m. CT. Live video and live stats will be available via WKUSports.com while in-game updates can be found on Twitter with @WKU_GameDay. The game will be a “White Out” while the first 150 fans will receive a pack of WKU softball trading cards of the 2014 seniors.

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Long Ball Leads UAB to 3-0 Win Over WKU Softball

Long Ball Leads UAB to 3-0 Win Over WKU Softball

Posted on 11 March 2014 by Jimmy

WKU Softball

Home runs in back-to-back innings gave UAB (9-12) a 3-0 win over the Western Kentucky University softball team (15-8-1) on Tuesday at the UAB Softball Field.

The Blazers’ bats were clicking on all cylinders, as UAB posted nine hits, led by a trio of players with two hits each. WKU found one hit in the contest, coming off the bat of sophomore Brooke Holloway in the third inning after she doubled down the left field line.

In the circle, senior Emily Rousseau (8-6) pitched the entire game, as she had all three runs earned with five strikeouts and no walks handed out. For UAB, Leigh Streetman (7-6) earned the shutout victory after striking out three batters with only the lone baserunner allowed.

UAB jumped on the board first, as Megan McGrath opened the bottom second with a home run to left field. The Blazers repeated the action in the next frame after Kristen McGrath hit a long ball over the left field fence to make the score 2-0.

Another run came across home plate in the fifth for UAB, as the Blazers had a hit, bunt and groundout put runners at third and second. A RBI single from Anna Theriot brought in Caitlin Attfield to bump the lead to 3-0.

WKU is back in action on Wednesday at Tennessee Tech with game time set for 2 p.m. CT. Live stats can be found via TTUSports.com while in-game updates can be found on Twitter with @WKU_GameDay.

For more information on WKU softball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the team on Twitter via @WKUSoftball.

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WKU upsets UT

WKU upsets UT

Posted on 08 March 2014 by Allen

WKU Softball

The Western Kentucky University softball team (14-6-1) defeated its highest-ranked opponent in program history, downing No. 2 Tennessee (19-2) by a score of 3-2 on Saturday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.

Senior Emily Rousseau (8-5) threw her best performance of the season, striking out a season-high 10 batters in a complete-game effort. Rousseau allowed five hits with both runs earned. UT’s Rainey Gaffin (3-1) took her first loss while giving up her first earned runs of the season in six appearances, giving up six hits and all three runs in six innings of work. She walked three and struck out three.

At the plate, WKU outhit the Lady Vols 9-5 with junior Preslie Cruce, senior Olivia Watkins and sophomore Brooke Holloway tabbing two hits each. Cruce added one of the Lady Toppers’ runs while Holloway came home for the other two. For UT, Madison Shipman had a pair of hits to lead the team. Both teams saw ample of opportunities to score, as each left seven on base during the contest.

The Lady Toppers struck first in the third, taking a 2-0 lead. Back-to-back singles up the middle by Holloway and Cruce put runners on with one out. After a sacrifice bunt from Watkins moved the runners, senior Amanda Thomas was intentionally walked to bring senior Kelsie Mattox to the plate. The Georgia native then put a double in center field for the two runs.

WKU added a run to its lead in the fifth after Holloway led off the frame with a single. Cruce was hit by pitch for the 14th time this season before a Watkins single loaded the base. Thomas then belted a long fly ball to right field that hit off the wall and scored Holloway.

A two-out two-run home run by Cheyanne Tarango cut the Lady Toppers’ lead to 3-2 in the bottom sixth. After no insurance runs were added in the seventh by WKU, Rousseau and the defense closed the game with two-straight putouts before a strikeout closed the game.

WKU is back in action on Sunday to conclude the tourney, as the Lady Toppers take on Georgia Southern at 8 a.m. CT before facing College of Charleston at 10:30 a.m. CT. Gametracker is available for each game via UTSports.com while in-game updates can be found on Twitter with @WKU_GameDay.

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WKU Softball Posts Pair of Wins in Day One of Tennessee Tournament

WKU Softball Posts Pair of Wins in Day One of Tennessee Tournament

Posted on 07 March 2014 by Allen

WKU Softball

The Western Kentucky University softball team (13-6-1) recorded a pair of wins in the opening day of the Tennessee Tournament, taking a 9-1 win in five innings over Holy Cross (1-4) and a 2-1 win against Campbell (13-9) on Friday.

The Tennessee Tournament continues on Saturday, as WKU faces host No. 3/2 Tennessee at 1 p.m. CT in its lone game of the day. Live video as well as gametracker will be available via UTSports.com.

GAME ONE-WKU 9, Holy Cross 1 (5 innings)

WKU capitalized on its eight hits and three Holy Cross errors to take a 9-1 win in five innings in Friday’s first contest.

Freshmen India Steward and Marley Harmon led the team with two hits each, including Harmon posting her first home run of the season in the fourth inning. Steward tabbed three of WKU’s runs while Harmon had two. Fellow classmate Andie Martin had a team-high two RBI.

Freshman Hannah Miniard (6-1) earned the win, giving up four hits and four walks while striking out three.

The Lady Toppers quickly took to business, posting a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The Crusaders’ first error of the game got by the second baseman to score junior Preslie Cruce and senior Amanda Thomas. With junior Shawna Sadler reaching on the error and sophomore Brooke Holloway on by a walk, Martin doubled to center for the frame’s final runs.

Steward brought in the lone run in the second inning, coming home off of Thomas’ double to left field for a 5-0 advantage. Harmon then opened the fourth with her homer before Steward tripled down the right field line. The Illinois native then scored on a RBI single by Cruce.

With Holy Cross posting a run in the fifth after a bloop hit to the outfield, WKU came back in the bottom half to have Harmon and Steward come home on another miscue by the Crusaders for the 9-1 final. Both the freshmen reached base on singles.

GAME TWO-WKU 2, Campbell 1

After a contest of putting up the offense, it took just one swing of the bat and a wild pitch to take a 2-1 win over Campbell to close Friday.

Senior Emily Rousseau (7-5) pitched all seven frames, taking the win with six hits given up and four strikeouts.

At the plate, WKU posted five hits, including senior Olivia Watkins recording a hit in her 10th-straight game for a new career-long hit streak.

A lone run came in the first inning after Sadler hit a sacrifice fly to center to allow Cruce to score. Campbell tied it up at 1 after using three hits, including two singles up the middle, in the top third.

The Lady Toppers broke the tie and sealed the win in the fourth when, after loading the bases, junior Jacqueline McGill came home on a wild pitch.

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WKU Softball

Lady Toppers win two in Hilltopper Classic

Posted on 02 March 2014 by Allen

WKU Softball

The Western Kentucky University softball team (11-6-1) responded after falling in a pair of games in the opening day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic with two wins on Saturday against Indiana State (7-5) and Wright State (1-8).

The Lady Toppers needed a big offensive inning in each game to comeback for the win, notching a 7-2 win over the Sycamore and 8-5 win against Wright State.

The final day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic is canceled due to inclement weather predicted to come through the Bowling Green region. WKU will be back in action on Friday when it opens the Tennessee Tournament in Knoxville with Holy Cross and Campbell.

GAME ONE—WKU 7, Indiana State 2

A six-run fifth inning lifted the Lady Toppers to a 7-2 win over Indiana State in WKU’s opening game on Saturday.

Capitalizing on five hits and an error and down 2-0, WKU took over the lead and kept it in the fifth frame. An overthrow to first allowed freshman Andie Martin to reach in the inning’s opening at-bat. With freshman India Steward taking over as a pinch runner, Steward made her way home on a junior Preslie Cruce RBI single. A two-RBI double by senior Amanda Thomas brought in another pair of runs before a double by senior Kelsie Mattox added Thomas’ run. Mattox and sophomore Brooke Holloway would then score on back-to-back passed balls.

WKU added one more run in the bottom sixth after another RBI from WKU’s all-time RBI leader Thomas scored senior Olivia Watkins.

At the plate, Watkins, Thomas and Mattox were each 2-for-4 while Thomas totaled three RBI to lead the team.

Senior Emily Rousseau (6-5) went the distance with five hits allowed with one walk and two strikeouts.

GAME TWO—WKU 8, Wright State 5

WKU had to repeat its big offensive inning in the latter game of the day to get by Wright State’s 5-1 lead.

After posting the first run of the game in the first inning with a Mattox RBI single, WKU would find itself tied with the Raiders at the end of the third before Wright State added four runs in the top fourth to overtake the lead.

In the bottom frame of the inning, WKU tallied seven runs on seven hits and one error to power past the visitors and seal the win. A RBI single from junior Shawna Sadler started the run barrage. Martin then hit a RBI double to left center before junior Jacqueline McGill repeated the action for two RBI. McGill would then steal home after a double-steal attempt with Watkins, who would make her way around the bases thanks to a Thomas home run.

WKU had 11 hits for the game, led by Mattox’s three. Thomas and McGill totaled two RBI each while Watkins had two runs and tied her career high with four stolen bases.

Freshman Hannah Miniard (5-1) earned the win, after coming in as relief for Rousseau for 3.2 innings. Miniard didn’t allow a hit while walking three and fanning six. Rousseau started the contest, giving up four hits with two earned runs and four strikeouts.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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