Hilltoppers clinch series against preseason favorite, North Texas, in Saturday sweep

The WKU Hilltopper Softball program took both doubleheader games against the C-USA preseason favorite, North Texas.
Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 8:58 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The WKU Hilltopper Softball program took both doubleheader games against the C-USA preseason favorite, North Texas, Saturday afternoon at the WKU Softball Complex. The first 7-1 win and second 6-3 victory over the Mean Green is the second series win for WKU this season, moving their conference record to 4-1. Katie Gardner pitched a complete seven innings giving up one run in game one, while first baseman Jessica Bush notched four RBIs in the second match up for the Hilltopper win.

On the day, Bush was a stellar .571 batting at the plate, going four-for-seven in the box with a .714 slugging. Outfielder Taylor Davis was three-for-six at the plate, while three Hilltoppers earned themselves doubles on the afternoon, picking up RBIs or getting in scoring position. On defense, the Hilltopper secondary turned three double plays to hold off the Mean Green bats.

From the circle, WKU pitchers picked up 11 strikeouts at the Complex, Kelsie Houchens got the start in game two, collecting three of her own, while freshman Maddy Wood came in for relief and with three strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA.


The competition started off with a quiet three innings from both teams as right-hander Katie Gardner threw four strikeouts. The bats got going in the bottom of the fourth: Kennedy Foote hit a fielder’s choice to second base as the error throw to first was poor and led third baseman Taylor Sanders to round and head home for a light, 1-0, Tops lead.

A huge sixth inning for the Tops as they batted through the order for more insurance runs, shortstop TJ Webster got the offense going with an RBI single up the middle. Later in the frame, Hegh came to the plate big with a clear count double into left field, scoring Webster and designated hitter Kaytlan Kemp. Outfielder Brylee Hage then saw the first pitch to her, which was good for a single into left, scoring Hegh.

Jessica Bush found left field with an RBI single before Randi Drinnon ending the Hilltoppers’ scoring run as a North Texas fielding error led Drinnon to first base and Hage to home plate, unearned.

While holding off from a shutout, the Mean Green took back a run in the top of seven with a double, then single up the middle for the final 7-1 score.

In the circle, Katie Gardner got the go as she worked through her seventh complete game this season as she struck out five, walked eight, and only gave up one run on five hits to the Mean Green offense.


The Mean Green came back for redemption, hitting a solo home run into left field off Kelsie Houchens in the second frame. North Texas later found the wall with back-to-back home runs in the third before Maddy Wood came in for relief with a 3-0, North Texas game.

Junior transfer Jessica Bush answered the call as she got the Hilltoppers going with a two-run double into right field on a 1-2 pitch in the bottom of the fourth.

In the bottom of the sixth, cleanup hitter Taylor Sanders earned the tying and go-ahead runs with a double into right field before Bush secured two more from the North Texas bullpen with a 2-2 single into right-center, scoring two and finalizing the 6-3 win for the Tops.

Freshman Maddy Wood worked a 0.00 ERA through five innings, only giving up four hits, one walk, and throwing three strikeouts.

WKU is back on the field tomorrow for the series finale with North Texas at the WKU Softball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.