Lady Toppers drop last game against FIU but take series

Lake Charles, Louisiana sophomore Carleigh Chaumont is congratulated by the team after hitting a home run, bringing the score to 4-2, WKU winning, in the third inning of the first game in a doubleheader against FIU on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Justin Gilliland/HERALD

Hunter Frint

WKU softball played a three-game series this weekend against Florida International in the WKU Softball Complex, where it took both wins in back-to-back contests but dropped the last game on Sunday.

The doubleheader began Saturday as the first game took place over six innings and ended with a score of 10-2.

The score of the second game was a bit closer with WKU winning 5-4 by just one run. The third game took place on Sunday and ended in a WKU loss with the score at 16-7. The loss did not prevent the Lady Toppers from taking the series 2-1.

“That’s our goal going into it: to win the series,” Head Coach Amy Tudor said. “I mean obviously we would’ve liked to have won today, but you know I’m really proud we won the series. And we can build on what we did at the plate and make that consistent, and I think we’ll be okay.”

In the first game, runs were scored largely with the help of sophomore infielder Carleigh Chaumont and sophomore utility player Jordan Mauch. Junior pitcher Kathryn Downing, sophomore outfielder Lexie Norfleet and freshman Bryce Holmgren also contributed to the victory.

Tudor said she thought the team hit and threw the ball well. Mauch went three for four, had four RBI and scored two home runs in a game for the first time in her career.

“Jordan Mauch was a beast at the plate. She had a great presence and did a really nice job for us,” Tudor said. “Defensively, Taylor Proctor made one of the best catches I’ve ever seen at this field in left field [this weekend].”

The second game began a little behind schedule at about 3:20 p.m. and was the only game to go the full seven innings.

Sophomore pitcher Hannah Parker and junior catcher Taylor Proctor scored the first two runs for WKU in the first and fifth innings respectively.

There was a moment when the Panthers took the lead after four unearned runs, which took the score to 4-2. The Lady Toppers rallied in the seventh inning after Brooke Holloway’s home run pulled the team’s score up to five to take the win.

“I’m extremely proud of the team’s determination and fight that was put on display today,” Tudor said in a WKU press release. “We came into this series with the mindset that it was the start of our second season, and this young team really showed up to play.”

The third game was set to start at noon but was moved to 11 a.m. due to the threat of rain. The first inning was packed with action and runs scored by FIU. By the end of the first inning, the score was 6-2 with the Panthers ahead. Downing started off in the circle for WKU in the matchup.

WKU scored two runs in the bottom of the first, courtesy of Holloway and Chaumont. FIU again racked up more runs in the third inning when it scored five more to set the score at 11-2. The last three runs were scored on a confusing play in the outfield.

In the bottom of the third, an RBI single from Parker was followed by a hit from freshman outfielder Kelsey McGuffin, adding two more runs for WKU and bringing the score to 11-5.

The teams only played two more innings after these plays. During those innings, FIU scored five additional runs, and Holloway and Chaumont made it home once each for the Lady Toppers. The score was finalized in the bottom of the fifth at 16-7, FIU’s victory.

Despite dropping the last game, the Lady Toppers came out the winners of the weekend series and will go on to play another series that begins Friday.

“I thought we did a great job as a team offensively for the weekend,” Tudor said.

The Lady Toppers will be in action next in a conference series against North Texas University on Friday and Saturday at the WKU Softball Complex.