BOWLING GREEN, Ky.—Down 9-2 early in the contest, the Western Kentucky University softball team (31-16-1) staged a comeback off of freshman Kaylan Davis’ three-run home run, but the early deficit would be too much to overcome, as No. 9 Kentucky (39-9) won 11-8 on Tuesday at the WKU Softball Complex.
The teams combined for 25 hits and four errors in the game, as WKU had 11 hits and two errors. At the plate, senior Amanda Thomas led the way with a 3-for-4 effort with two runs and a RBI while fellow classmate Kelsie Mattox and junior Jacqueline McGill had two hits each. Davis finished the night with four RBI while junior Shawna Sadler joined Thomas with a pair of runs.
Senior Emily Rousseau (16-12) took the loss after four innings pitched with 11 hits and nine runs, eight earned, given out to go along with five strikeouts. Freshman Hannah Miniard came in for the final three frames to allow three hits and the final two UK runs with one strikeout. UK’s Kelsey Nunley (20-4) earned the win after completing six innings in the circle with eight hits and four runs against her.
WKU went up 2-0 in the first with junior Preslie Cruce opening the frame with a single up the middle. After advancing on a groundout, Cruce turned the corner on third base to score on a Mattox RBI single. Mattox would score in the next at-bat with Thomas repeating the action.
UK quickly answered by taking over the lead in the second, 3-2, that was highlighted by a solo home run from Christian Stokes. Another three runs came in the third to set the score at 6-2 in favor of the visitors after two WKU errors allowed a pair of runs. A trio of runs for the Wildcats came again in the fourth after a two-run home run from Nikki Sagermann went over the center field wall followed not long after by a RBI double from Stokes.
A late rally came out of the Lady Toppers in the fifth and sixth innings to put the ballgame at 9-8 heading into the seventh. In the fifth, Sadler walked in the opening at-bat before working her way around the bases off of a Mattox walk and Thomas single then scoring on a Davis fielder’s choice. One more came in during the frame after freshman India Steward placed a RBI single in left field to score Thomas.
Coming in as a pinch runner for Cruce after she was hit by pitch, senior Tiffany Gooch brought in the first of four runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch. Davis then cut the deficit, as in her first action of the season, the Florida native battled off 14 pitches from UK pitcher Meagan Prince before taking pitch 15 over the left field wall to bring home Thomas and Sadler.
Trying to hold off any more UK runs in the seventh, the Wildcats’ bats proved to be too much, as two RBI singles would give UK the insurance runs it needed to win the game 11-8.
WKU is back at home on Wednesday, April 23 when the team faces Lipscomb at 5 p.m. CT.