Lady Tops take FIU in weekend series

WKU junior Brook Holloway dodges the tag to score a run against USM. This was the third of six runs scored by the lady Hilltoppers during the second game of the double header played on April 11. The game ended with the lady Eagles being shut out 6-0. SPECIAL TO HERALD/ Andrew Livesay

Herald Sports Staff

WKU softball (27-8, 12-3) almost bagged another series sweep against top-ranked FIU (27-22, 8-13) this weekend. The series sweep was avoided by one run that secured the last game for the Panthers. 

The Lady Toppers won the first two games played on Saturday with a score of 11-0 in the first game and a score of 6-0 in the second. The double shutout secured WKU’s fifth conference series win of the season. 

The team was batting strong in the doubleheader. Larissa Franklin and Carleigh Chaumont had four hits each and Brooke Holloway’s batting average was .600 with three runs scored.

Pitchers Miranda Kramer (18-5) and Jana Scheff (4-2) threw the winning games and Hannah Parker achieved her second win of the season. The pitchers allowed only seven hits and struck out 10 of FIU’s batters in their 12 pitched innings in the doubleheader.


Game One (11-0)

Senior Kramer allowed one hit the entire game and the offense knocked down 14 hits. WKU played a shutout game against FIU and dominated with 11 runs scored.

Six WKU players acquired two hits each while Dani Pugh hit her third grand slam of the season. Pugh finished the game with five RBI’s and Chaumont hit two RBI’s.

Out of the 18 batters that Kramer faced in the circle, she allowed only one hit in the final inning and one walk. Kramer struck out six in the seven innings pitched.

The first run was scored in the first inning by Franklin, due to a hit by Chaumont. WKU was in the lead with a score of 1-0. 

After two single hits and one walk, the bases were loaded in the second inning, Pugh came up to bat and blasted the ball, resulting in her ninth home run this season. This grand slam put the Lady Toppers at 5-0.

By the third inning, WKU had set the score at 9-0 after four hits and an error by FIU. The error, made while Franklin was at bat, brought in three runs. Franklin made it home when Kayti Hanson posted a hit down the middle.

The final score of 11-0 came about in the fifth inning after Pugh and Chaumont had RBI hits.


Game Two (6-0)

WKU had nine hits and capitalized on three FIU errors, ending the game and securing the series with a 6-0 win.

Half of the runs were made in the third and the final half in the fifth. Lexie Norfleet opened the runs in the third with her RBI double hit to right center. 

Two outs were up on the board in the third when Holloway and Franklin posted back-to-back hits, bringing in one run a piece. 

In the fifth inning, the Lady Toppers faced two errors by FIU that put Preslie Cruce and Chaumont on the bases and ready to score. 

Shawna Sadler came up the plate and notched an RBI double, bringing in Cruce and Chaumont. Sadler later scored a run after Holloway hit a single to center field.

Scheff and Parker pitched the entirety of the second game and held FIU at zero. 

Scheff earned the win going four innings with just as many hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. Parker entered the circle the fifth inning and ended the game with two hits, one walk, and two strikeouts.


Game Three 2-1

The third and final series was a pitchers duel that ended in FIU taking home the win by one run scored over WKU’s single run.

The almost series shutout was turned around on Sunday by FIU’s home run hit by Jessica Hallett and an RBI single by Gabby Spallone. 

Kramer pitched strong and struck out 10 in the six innings that she pitched, allowing one walk and two hits. 

The Panther’s pitcher Corinne Jenkins (17-9) allowed five hits, three walks and struck out five Lady Toppers. Hanson was the only player from WKU that was able to get two hits off of Jenkins.

Franklin was the lone run scored by WKU after a Dani Pugh RBI in the top of the fifth. 

Things seemed to be picking back up in the seventh when Parker opened with a single hit to right field. Bases were loaded by Parker, Taylor Price and finally with Pugh walking to first. 

Two outs were on the board and Cruce was up to bat. WKU threatened the Panthers with potential runs, but Cruce fouled a high flyer for the final out of the game.

WKU will be traveling to Lexington to play the nationally-ranked University of Kentucky. The final home games of the season will be played this upcoming weekend against Charlotte.