Lady Tops play Ball State in weekend series

Hunter Frint

The Lady Topper softball team went into this past weekend’s series against Ball State coming off a 2-0 win over No. 14 Tennessee in Knoxville days before. 

What Head Coach Amy Tudor characterized as good offense and pitching brought home a 2-0 win for WKU.

Senior Pitcher Miranda Kramer, who just earned her third Conference USA Pitcher of the Week nod, struck out 14 of the 25 Lady Vols batters she faced. She now leads the nation in strikeouts per seven innings with 13 (she is ninth in total strikeouts this season with 144), and is second in the nation in shutouts having tabbed six. 

The difference against the nationally ranked opponent came in the third inning. The Lady Tops scored the game’s only two runs in this inning via efforts from Jacqueline McGill and Larissa Franklin.  

“I think a lot of players played well. Jana got her first win,” Tudor said. “Miranda and Hannah got wins as well.”


Ball State- three game series


The Lady Toppers (14-5, 2-1) then traveled to Muncie, Indiana for a non-conference, three game series against Ball State (12-15).

Competition began with a doubleheader Saturday, March 21 at noon, and a single game followed on Sunday. 

Ball State’s current head coach, Tyra Perry, is WKU’s former head coach of six seasons (2008-2013), and led WKU to their only Sun Belt Conference regular-season title in 2013 and posted the most wins ever in a WKU softball season at 43. 




The Lady Tops were strong at the mound this past Saturday. WKU scored a total of 19 runs in the first two games of the series. 

 Senior Preslie Cruce achieved four hits and three runs for both games, a team high. Seniors Larissa Franklin and Dani Pugh had three hits each, as did freshman Lexie Norfleet.

Pitchers Kramer and Hannah Parker allowed 10 hits total for Ball State in both games and struck out 21 batters.


Game One


The Lady Toppers began the series with a 4-2 win spurred on by two hits, a run and an RBI from Cruce. 

Kramer (9-4) struck out 16 players and didn’t allow a single hit until the fifth inning. 

The score was 3-0 by the third inning made possible by sacrifice bunts by Brooke Holloway, Cruce and Norfleet. Cruce scored a run due to a throwing error made by Ball State’s catcher.

McGill made the fourth and final run in the sixth inning, due to a single hit by Kayti Hanson. 

The Cardinals scored their only two runs of the game in the seventh inning. 


Game Two


WKU secured the series win with a final score of 6-2 Saturday. 

The first inning did not go the Lady Toppers way as Ball State scored a two run home run with two outs on the board. 

WKU would combine for four runs off fours hits to establish a 5-2 lead. 

Franklin was at third and Holloway at first when Cruce hit an RBI to shortstop to tie the game. Pugh then shot the ball into left field to bring herself, Holloway and Cruce home. 

Sadler ran home at the top of the seventh making WKU score six with Ball State still at two.


Game Three 


The first inning again did not finish in WKU’s favor. The Lady Tops mustered one run in the top of the first from Larissa Franklin before Ball State exploited a Lady Topper error, an RBI triple and an RIB double to take the lead 3-1. 

WKU answered immediately in the second with two RBI from Holloway to tie the game at 3-3.

Consecutive singles and a sacrifice bunt from Sadler had Hanson on third before taking home off a Cardinal error. WKU would end the game with a 5-3 victory.  

“(The team) was very excited about the three wins this weekend,” Tudor said. “They did a great job… we also had a lot of hits.”