Tudor, Kramer lead Lady Tops into Athens Regional

West Burlington, Iowa senior Miranda Kramer winds up on the pitching mound during the softball double header against Florida Atlantic, Saturday, April 4. Leanora Benkato/ HERALD

WKU Herald Sports

The Lady Topper softball team—which has perhaps had the strongest season of any WKU athletics team—will play in the first NCAA tournament on Friday at 1:30.

After winning the C-USA title under a week ago, the program will make its second appearance in NCAA postseason action.  The Lady Toppers (34-12) are guided by second-year Head Coach Amy Tudor and senior pitcher Miranda Kramer.

Kramer—who is not only currently one of the highest rated pitchers in the NCAA, but could also arguably go down as one of the most successful athletes to ever wear the red and white. She has grabbed a conference record setting eight Conferene-USA pitcher of the week awards, and was drafted in April to the Pennsylvania Rebellion of National Pro Fastpitch, the only professional women’s softball league in the country.

The Lady Tops contest will open play in the Athens Regional on Friday against North Carolina (36-14) at Jack Turner Softball Stadium.

Regional play features a double-elimination bracket consisting of a field of four teams.  After playing the Tar Heels on Friday, the Lady Toppers will play either the winner or the loser of host school Georgia (40-14) or Central Connecticut State (31-12) on Saturday—depending on whether the Lady Toppers themselves pull out the win in game one or not.

Kramer along with senior outfielder Larissa Franklin were both named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Mideast Region First-Team just a day prior to their clash with the Tar Heels.

The duo also captured First-Team All-Conference USA honors, which matches a similar accolade they posted last season at Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne (both players were senior transfers who decided to link up with their former IPFW coach Amy Tudor in their final season). The pair received All-Region honors their junior seasons. 

First pitch against North Carolina is set for 1:30 in the afternoon on Friday, May 15.