Lady Toppers to play last home series before championships

Hunter Frint

WKU will take its home field for the last time in this Conference USA season in a three-game series against Marshall.

The importance of these matches exceeds past competitions because they are the last in regular conference play for the Lady Toppers before the C-USA championships.

The Lady Toppers need to win these last three matches to have a shot at the conference tournament. Even through WKU owns the worst overall record in the conference, it is just two conference wins behind Florida International for a spot in the conference playoffs.

“It’s an opportune time to do something special, and we have to come out and play all three games and see if we can give ourselves a chance to go to conference tournament,” Head Coach Amy Tudor said.

WKU (16-28, 7-10 C-USA) enters this match after dropping three conference games last weekend to top-ranked Florida Atlantic. The Lady Toppers dropped the first game by 15 runs but made an attempt to rally in the second game.

They took an 8-3 defeat in the second contest and carried that bad luck into Sunday’s final game, where they were shut out 6-0 by FAU.

Marshall (27-24, 11-10 C-USA) will enter the series on a different note after taking the win from FIU last weekend in its last conference home game of the season. Marshall took the series two games to one with close scores for each game.

“They have a good pitcher — throws hard curve balls — and they have some of the best hitters in the league,” Tudor said. “It’ll definitely be three hard games that we have to play.”

The pitcher Tudor is referring to is junior Jordan Dixon, who currently has a 2.78 ERA on the season with a 21-17 record. Dixon was also recently named C-USA co-pitcher of the week during the week of April 25.

For the Lady Toppers, look for senior infielder Brooke Holloway and junior pitcher Kathryn Downing to lead the team as they have led WKU all season long.

Holloway has led the team from the plate this season as she currently owns a batting average of .346, which is the best on the squad. She also leads the team in hits with 45 and home runs with 10 overall on the year.

Downing has statistically been the Lady Toppers’ best pitcher on the season as she has a 2.92 ERA through 18 appearances, which is the lowest ERA on the team.

The three-game series this weekend at the WKU Softball Complex will start off with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. The last home game of the season for the Lady Toppers will start at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. After this weekend, WKU will know their fate in C-USA.

“It’s a hugely significant three games,” Tudor said. “We have to win all three games to even give ourselves a shot at the tournament.”