Lady Tops notch win in first game of NCAA tournament, look next to Georgia

WKU Senior Larissa Franklin bats during the second of two games against USM on April 11, 2015 in Bowling Green. The lady Hilltoppers took on the USM lady Eagles in a back to back double header, wining 7-1 then 6-0. Andrew Livesay/ Special to the HERALD

WKU Herald Sports

The Lady Topper softball team began NCAA tournament play on Friday with a tense 2-1 win over North Carolina.
Senior Miranda Kramer, who has collected a Conference USA record setting eight Pitcher of the Week awards this season, threw 83 pitches on the day and was on her way to a no-hitter until giving up a solo home run in the seventh. 
After leaving runners stranded in the first two innings, WKU found an answer in the third with a two-run single from senior Shawna Sadler.

The Lady Toppers now sit at 35-12, and will clash with host school and 14th-seeded Georgia on Saturday afternoon. 

The Bulldogs (41-14) stood toe-to-toe with their first round opponent Central Connecticut State, not breaking the 1-1 tie until racking up five runs in the sixth inning alone. 

After holding the 16th ranked team in the nation in scoring (North Carolina) to just one run on Friday, the Lady Toppers will look next to keep at bay a Georgia team that entered the tournament ranked 12th in the nation in scoring. To add to the Bulldogs offensive prowess, they rank 11th in the nation in batting average, 19th in on-base percentage, and eighth in stolen bases. 

Though, even with the level of competition being faced, Head Coach Amy Tudor and the Lady Topper squad are focusing on their own game plan rather than catering to the plan of others. 

“It’s tournament time, so you don’t know who’s going to win a ballgame. I’ve been the underdog before, and so I kind of know what that feels like.” WKU Head Coach Amy Tudor told the Bowling Green Daily News. “Obviously we were the underdog today, and we embrace that underdog mentality.”

The Lady Toppers take on Georgia Saturday morning at 11.