BOWLING GREEN, Ky.— The Western Kentucky University softball team (31-19-1, 10-7) gave itself chances to take a win in Saturday’s doubleheader, but No. 20 South Alabama (36-10, 13-5) put up runs when the Jaguars needed it to take the doubleheader sweep at the WKU Softball Complex.
GAME ONE—South Alabama 3, WKU 2
WKU gave up a pair of late runs in the seventh, as South Alabama came back to win game one 3-2.
WKU and South Alabama had nine hits each, as junior Shawna Sadler went 3-for-3 in the game with a RBI to lead the Lady Toppers. Sadler would be the only WKU player with multiple hits, as it is her 13th multi-hit game of the season, good for second most on the team.
Senior Emily Rousseau (16-13) took the loss with three runs, two earned, two walks and three strikeouts to her line. South Alabama’s Hannah Campbell (15-4) got the win after posting five strikeouts, two walks and two runs with one being earned.
The Lady Toppers scored first in the game, as senior Kelsie Mattox was caught in a rundown between third and home before Jaguar third baseman Emily Messer overthrew the catcher at home to allow the run in the second frame. WKU then went up 2-0 in the third on a RBI hit by Sadler that scored senior Tiffany Gooch.
South Alabama cut the lead in the fourth to 2-1 after a caught foul ball allowed the Jag runner at third to come in for the score. The visitors then rallied in the seventh with a pair of runs after back-to-back RBI doubles brought in the winning runs.
GAME TWO—South Alabama 6, WKU 4
South Alabama jumped on board early and carried the lead to a 6-4 win over WKU in game two.
The two teams matched each other again for hits with six apiece, as junior Jacqueline McGill posted a pair of hits while senior Amanda Thomas and Sadler had two RBI each.
Freshman Hannah Miniard (13-6) gave up all six hits and runs with five runs being earned. Miniard had eight strikeouts but also had six walks against her. Jaguar pitcher Farish Beard (19-5) went the complete game with one earned run and two walks allowed while striking out seven batters.
A bases-loaded single by South Alabama’s Messer put USA up 2-0 in the second inning. The Jags then made it 3-0 after a wild pitch brought in the lone run of the third.
WKU cut into the South Alabama lead in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs off of a double from Thomas. South Alabama earned the runs back to go up 5-2 after Chloe Rathburn put a two-run home run over the left field wall in the fifth inning.
The Lady Toppers kept the fight going, adding two runs in the bottom half of the fifth after a single from Sadler brought in the runners. However, a wild pitch in the seventh gave South Alabama the insurance run it needed to win 6-4.
The series concludes on Sunday at noon CT with live stats available at WKUSports.com.
For more information on WKU softball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the team on Twitter via @WKUSoftball.