BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The WKU softball team (17-8, 5-1 SBC) battled Kentucky (22-8) in a two-game series on Thursday night in Bowling Green dropping the first game 1-0 after failing to record a hit in a game for the first time since March 1, 2008. The no-hitter for Kentucky was the first no-hitter in school history for the Wildcats. In the second game, WKU committed five errors and gave up nine hits while falling to Kentucky 12-9.
In the game, the Lady Toppers and Wildcats were both quiet until the fourth inning when Kentucky got on board scoring one run off two hits. After starting the inning with a single, Kentucky took the 1-0 lead off a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Meagan Aull from third base.
Senior Ryan Rogge took the loss for the Lady Toppers falling to 13-3 in the season. Rogge gave up just three hits in seven innings and struck out five.
Once again, in game two, Kentucky got on the board first with their first at bat, a home run over the center field fence. But, WKU answered Kentucky in the bottom of the first inning scoring two runs off three hits. The Lady Toppers kicked off the inning with two consecutive singles by juniors Rachelle Boucher and Brooke Reed. After sophomore Elizabeth Ferrell came in to pinch run for Boucher, Ferrell advanced to third and Reed advancecd to second following a junior Lindsay Antone sacrifice bunt. Then, Ferrell scored after a Rebecca Horesky ground out and Reed made it 2-1 WKU, scoring off a Kentucky error.
In the second inning, errors by the Lady Toppers proved to be costly as the Wildcats regained a 6-2 lead following two hits and two WKU errors. Kentucky also scored four more insurance runs in the top of the third inning to extend their lead to eight after recording three hits while WKU committed its fourth error of the game.
The Lady Toppers were able to cut Kentucky’s lead to four in the bottom of the fourth inning after recording four runs off four hits and one Kentucky error.
To get things going for WKU, Antone reached first base after a single down the first base line. Following the single, freshman Amanda Walden reached base after recording the first walk of her career and advanced to second off a Sam Cronk ground out. With Walden on first and Antone of third, junior Shannon Smith singled to score Antone and Walden scored WKU’s second run of the inning after a error by Kentucky. Then, junior Jamie Hennis singled to center field to drive in Smith and the Lady Toppers ended the inning with junior Ashley Contreras scoring off a Boucher single to left field.
Kentucky scored their 11th run of the game in the top of the fifth inning off another Wildcat hit that widened Kentucky’s lead to five.
But, Antone led the Lady Toppers off in the bottom of the fifth inning by blasting a homerun, her fifth of the season, over the center field fence to close Kentucky’s gap to four. Walden also scored in the inning after reaching base off a Kentucky error and scoring off after a Ashley Contreras sacrifice fly to center field.
WKU continued to fight back in the fifth inning scoring another run off a Antone single to third base. On the play, Reed scored WKU’s ninth run of the game after doubling to reach base after a shot to center field.
Kentucky ended the game scoring one more run in the top of the ninth inning to secure the victory.
Senior Jennifer Kempf recorded the loss for the Lady Topppers and dropped to 4-5 on the season. The Lady Toppers finished the game with nine runs off 11 hits and four errors. WKU heads to Troy, Ala. this weekend to compete against Troy in their third SBC series of the season. On Saturday, WKU and Troy are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.