Cardinals rout Hilltoppers again in Louisville

Outfielder Paul Murray attempts to hits the ball during the Hilltoppers 3-1 loss to Louisiana Tech on Sunday April 10, 2016 at WKU Softball Complex in Bowling Green, Ky. Murray was at bat 3 times and had 1 hit.

Sam Porter


The Hilltoppers traveled to Louisville Tuesday night to take on sixth ranked University of Louisville in an in-state matchup.

On March 29, the Cardinals pounded the Toppers 17-0 at Nick Denes Field. The Toppers were looking for revenge but left disappointed.

With this rematch coming off the Toppers’ series loss against Louisiana Tech, Head Coach John Pawlowski knew WKU needed to become more of a force at the plate.

“We just weren’t able to manufacture any runs,” Pawlowski said after the Louisiana Tech series. “We have to be able to manufacture runs with our offense.”

To Pawlowski’s disappointment, the Toppers again put forth a poor performance in the category of scoring as the Cardinals once again dominated from the plate and from the mound as they cruised to a 14-2 victory.

After not scoring a single run in the previous matchup, senior infielder Danny Hudzina made sure there would be no shutout in round two.

With sophomore infielder Steven Kraft on second base, Hudzina roped a double into right centerfield to bring in Kraft for the game’s opening run.

However, the Cardinals answered right back in the bottom of the first against sophomore pitcher Logan Weins.

Louisville’s Brendan McKay hit an RBI single to bring in Colby Fitch to tie the game 1-1.

After another Louisville run gave the Cardinals the lead, Blake Tiberi smacked a two-run double to centerfield to bring McKay and Devin Hairston home.

Just like that, the Cardinals led 4-1 after the first inning. After a 1-2-3 inning, the Cardinals added on their lead in the bottom of the second.

Louisville’s Devin Mann scored Fitch to make the score 5-1 after two innings. After a scoreless third inning, junior pitcher Cody Coll came in to replace Weinz from the mound. However, Coll also struggled against the high-powered Cardinals’ attack.

With two men on base, Fitch struck for the third time in the game. The sophomore catcher delivered a triple to right centerfield that brought home two runs to make the score 8-1.

Soon after, McKay hit an RBI single to centerfield to bring home Fitch and make the score 9-1.

Finally, Tiberi struck again to cap off a nightmare inning for the Toppers. Tiberi hit his fifth home run of the season that scored himself and one more run to make the score 11-1 after four innings.

Desperate for a spark, the Toppers found a bit of life from junior catcher Hunter Wood.

The Mount Washington native hit a shot out of Jim Patterson Stadium for his first home run of the season to make the score 11-2.

However, Louisville’s Shane Hummel retired the next three Toppers to end the fifth inning and cease any Topper momentum.

The Cardinals tagged on three more runs in the matchup and cruised to a 14-2 victory.

Hummel pitched seven innings and got the victory to make him 1-0 on the year as Weinz dropped to 2-2.

The loss drops the Toppers to 18-14 (6-6 C-USA) and improves the Cardinals to 25-7 (10-5 ACC). The Toppers travel to Houston on Friday for a three-game Conference USA series against 24th ranked Rice University.