Hilltoppers continue success against North Texas

North Texas third baseman Lacy Gregory (6) tags the plate before WKU catcher Kendall Smith (2) can reach it. Smith scored a career high 4 RBI’s in the 8-0 victory against North Texas on Sunday. CHRIS KOHLEY/HERALD

Sophie Austin

The WKU softball team is now 29-9 overall and 12-3 in Conference USA play after a three-game series at home against North Texas this weekend. The teams split a doubleheader on Saturday, and the Hilltoppers won Sunday’s game to take the series 2-1.

North Texas took the first game 8-2 but would be held to just one run for the rest of the weekend. The second game on Saturday evened the series 1-1 when the Hilltoppers posted a 3-1 win.

Freshman Kennedy Sullivan suffered the loss in the circle in Saturday’s first game, her first in league play, to make her 5-1 in C-USA and 15-3 overall. Sullivan pitched 6.1 innings to finish with six hits, eight runs, six walks and four strikeouts before being replaced by junior Kelsey Aikey, who took care of the last two outs.

Sophomore Shelby Nunn earned the win in the circle in the second game on Saturday after pitching a complete-game two-hitter. Nunn finished with two hits, one run, one walk and four strikeouts.

“Jordan Thomas set the tone in a big way today – what a way to show up,” head coach Amy Tudor said Saturday in a press release. “I thought our response from game one to game two was impressive on all levels. We had focus, productivity on both offense and defense, not to mention lots of hustle. Shelby Nunn held down the circle and had a wonderful performance today.”

Much of WKU’s offensive momentum this weekend came from sophomore Jordan Thomas, who posted three home runs, one in each game. She now has seven home runs on the season.

Thomas also scored all three runs for the Hilltoppers in the second game on Saturday.

WKU won Sunday’s game 8-0 after a big offensive showing. The victory secured the Hilltoppers’ fourth series win.

Senior Shannon Plese, sophomore Kendall Smith and Jordan Thomas each connected for a home run in the win. In addition to her home run, Smith also had four RBIs.

Aikey took the win in the circle after pitching all five innings, threw eight strikeouts and allowed just one hit. The win made her 9-6 overall and 5-2 in conference play.

The win was also Aikey’s third complete-game shutout of the season.

“We set the tone today both in the circle and at the plate,” Tudor said in the press release. “Kelsey Aikey threw it well and we hit it far. This was a big series win for us against a seasoned opponent in North Texas.”

The Hilltoppers will be back in action when they travel to Cookeville, Tennessee, to take on Tennessee Tech in a doubleheader on Wednesday. The Hilltoppers will be looking to take both games after dropping a doubleheader to the Golden Eagles last time they played them back in February 2018.

The Golden Eagles currently hold a record of 17-20 on the season and are 6-7 in Ohio Valley Conference play.

The first game on Wednesday is set to begin at 2 p.m.

Reporter Sophie Austin can be reached at 270-745-2653 and [email protected].