WKU wins 3-game series in close fashion

Pitcher Hannah Parker pitches during the Lady Toppers’ 5-4 win over Middle Tennessee on Sunday April 10, 2016 at WKU Softball Complex in Bowling Green, Ky. Parker faced 33 batters and had 5 strikeouts. Shaban Athuman/HERALD

Hunter Frint

WKU softball won its series this weekend against Middle Tennessee after a split of two games on Saturday and a close victory on Sunday at the WKU Softball Complex.

Errors on WKU’s side led to Middle Tennessee’s scoring most of its runs in the first two games.

Saturday resulted in a split for the Lady Toppers, making a win on Sunday that much more vital. The third game ended in WKU’s favor.

“It was a good series win,” Head Coach Amy Tudor said. “I felt like we should take three of three, but to come back after a tough loss in game one was huge and showed a lot of resiliency of this young team.”

Game one seemed to be in the home team’s favor until MTSU tied the score and held WKU with no runs in the seventh inning.

MTSU was held at no runs scored for six innings before it caught up. An extra inning proved fatal for WKU as MTSU scored a fourth run to take the win at 4-3.

Freshman outfielder Kelsey McGuffin and senior infielder Brooke Holloway scored two of the runs for WKU with one home run each.

The third run came from junior right fielder Taylor Proctor’s RBI single. The offense put up a noticeably enhanced fight in the eighth inning until all bases were loaded, but MTSU’s defensive plays overtook the inning.

The result of game two was the opposite of the first; WKU won 4-3. The match followed recent trends of extra innings by going into a ninth.

The Lady Toppers’ last match of a three-game series against Southern Mississippi went into two extra innings as well. Another trend that has developed is the final score being extremely close.

“That’s kind of been our story for the past six or seven games,” Tudor said. “We’re right there in it, trying to get over the hump, and finally we were able to do that in two games this weekend.”

WKU held the advantage throughout most of the game, but MTSU caught up once again later in the game. RBIs notched by sophomore catcher Kayla Baker, Proctor and freshman utility Bryce Holmgren throughout six innings set the foundation for the home team.

MTSU rallied in the seventh as it came back to tie the game 3-3. McGuffin proved essential to scoring as her second solo home run of the day led to the Lady Toppers’ victory.

The third game began at 2 p.m. after three weather delays. MTSU broke the trend of a late rally in the third game of the weekend series when it tied the score 2-2 in the second inning.

This was a back and forth game through the fourth inning. The teams took turns taking the lead with tie-innings in between.

Chaumont and Norfleet scored the first two runs for WKU with a couple of RBIs. MTSU took the lead briefly in the third inning, but a Holloway RBI brought in Proctor to tie the game again. Another RBI and a WKU run from a MTSU error won the game for the Lady Toppers.

“I felt like we played the game pretty consistent in all three parts this last game, with only one error,” Tudor said.

Sophomore Hannah Parker pitched all nine innings of game two and game three against MTSU, which counted as her 12th and 13th complete games this season. Tudor complimented Parker and said she thought the sophomore did a great job on the mound this weekend.

WKU is scheduled to play Tennessee Tech at home Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Softball Complex. The next three-game series will take place April 16 and 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina.