WKU favored in C-USA East Division, three Lady Toppers named to Preseason All-Conference Team

Kelsey Aikey 2021 headshot. 

Jake Moore

WKU has been picked to win the Conference USA East Division after garnering eight first-place votes from league coaches on Thursday. Junior catcher Kendall Smith, junior pitcher Shelby Nunn and senior pitcher Kelsey Aikey were all named to the C-USA Preseason All-Conference team as well.

Marshall received three first-place votes and is predicted to finish second in the division, just behind WKU. Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic and FIU finish out the division respectively.

North Texas was picked to win the West division with 10 first-place votes. UAB and Southern Miss both received one vote each with UTSA, Louisiana Tech and UTEP rounding out the rest of the division.

Aikey and Nunn make up two of the three pitchers selected for the all-conference team and are joined by North Texas’ Hope Trautwein, who received Preseason Pitcher of the Year honors. Kendall Smith is one of two catchers selected on the team and is represented alongside Charlotte’s Bailey Vandy.

WKU softball will begin play on Feb. 12 at the Bash in the Boro tournament hosted by Georgia Southern. WKU’s first home games will be played on Feb. 27-28, but information about tickets and attendance is still being finalized. The full season schedule is set to be released in the coming days.

WKU will host the Conference USA Softball Championships on May 12-15.

Preseason accolades are as listed below. 

East Division

1.        WKU (8)              

2.        Marshall (3)

3.        Charlotte (1)

4.        Middle Tennessee

5.        Florida Atlantic

6.        FIU

West Division

1.        North Texas (10)              

2.        UAB (1)

3.        Southern Miss (1)

4.        UTSA

5.        Louisiana Tech

6.        UTEP


Aly Harrell, Marshall (Senior, IF)


Hope Trautwein, North Texas (Senior, RHP)


Pitcher:            Kelsey Aikey                 R-Sr.  WKU

Pitcher:            Shelby Nunn                 R-Jr.   WKU

Pitcher:            Hope Trautwein             Sr.       North Texas

Catcher:           Kendall Smith               R-Jr.   WKU

Catcher:           Bailey Vannoy               Jr.       Charlotte

Infielder:         Sierra Huerta                 Sr.       Marshall

Infielder:         Summer Burgess           Gr.      Middle Tennessee

Infielder:         Lexi Cushing                 Gr.      Middle Tennessee

Infielder:         Aly Harrell                     Sr.       Marshall

Infielder:          Riley Grunberg              So.      UTSA

Infielder:          Tayla Evans                  Jr.       North Texas

Outfielder:      Kasey Flores                   Jr.       UTEP

Outfielder:      Mya Stevenson               Jr.       Marshall

Outfielder:      Celeste Loughman           Sr.       UTSA

Outfielder:      Madison Rayner              Jr.       Southern Miss

DP/Utility:       Saige Pye                      Sr.       Marshall

Softball beat reporter Jake Moore can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Charles_JMoore.