WKU softball turned out a sweep this past weekend in a three-game series against North Texas in Denton, Texas.
The third win of the weekend was the softball program’s 500th win and brought the Lady Toppers’ winning percentage to .556.
WKU’s (18-6, 5-1) domination of North Texas (14-18, 6-6) was their first Conference USA sweep, and the Lady Toppers have won 10 of their last 11.
“It’s always a good thing to go win on the road,” Head Coach Amy Tudor said. “It definitely put us in the right direction.”
Tudor is currently 48-30 with one tie at WKU. She has tallied three wins over top 25 teams.
Senior pitcher Miranda Kramer, who just earned her third consecutive and fourth overall C-USA pitcher of the week honors, pitched 14 innings in total this weekend, securing a total of 31 strikeouts in the three games. Kramer allowed North Texas two hits and no runs scored. She is the NCAA’s active career leader in strikeouts with a total of 941.
Senior outfielder Larissa Franklin had some shining moments as well, with a hit posted in each of the first two games. This extended her hit streak to 15-straight games, tying her with the current school record.
Franklin has the chance to break that record in the upcoming games.
Game One (WKU-14, North Texas-8)
Game one consisted of Kramer pitching a total of 4.2 innings and allowing just one hit for North Texas, and no runs.
The Lady Toppers hit strong and Franklin, Jacqueline McGill and Kayti Hanson earned three hits each, gaining a 10-0 lead just after two innings and ending the second inning with a total of 12 hits.
“She hit 600 on the weekend,” Tudor said of Hanson. “She played really great from the plate.”
McGill hit her first home run of the season in that same inning.
North Texas was able to score eight runs during the game with two in the second inning, four in the third and two in the fourth.
Game Two (WKU-4, North Texas-0)
The second game was a complete shut out from the Lady Toppers. Janna Scheff (2-1) began pitching the game, giving up two hits in the 4.2 innings pitched.
Kramer pitched the last 2.1 innings and earned her first save. She threw four strikeouts and allowed two walks.
WKU accumulated eight hits in the game including Hanson’s and Carleigh Chaumont’s two hits each. Lexie Norfleet also notched two RBI’s.
Dani Pugh’s walk, along with Brooke Holloway’s double, cleared the way for Norfleet’s RBI groundout to put WKU’s score at one in the second inning. The score of 1-0 stayed until the fifth frame.
Franklin then hit an RBI single to North Texas’ shortstop resulting in a 2-0 lead for the Lady Toppers, who followed that with a run in the last two innings.
Senior Preslie Cruce brought in a run after hitting a sacrificing fly in the final inning.
Game Three (WKU-4, North Texas-0)
The third and final game ended in a similar 4-0, but it was this matchup that gave the Lady Toppers their first sweep in C-USA.
Kramer (12-4) put in a successful effort in the series finale, tabbing 13 strikeouts and allowing one North Texas hit. She allowed three walks during this game.
WKU secured four runs on five hits Sunday. Two solo home runs were brought in by Pugh and Cruce during the sixth. Chaumont and Franklin once again performed well by bringing runs in during the fifth.
“We’re used to playing on the road,” Tudor said. Her team has played 24 contests this season and is yet to play a home game due to weather restrictions. “Road-wins are very important.”
The sweep of North Texas puts WKU into first place of the East Division and an all-time record of 500-397-3.
WKU will host their first home showcase of the season, Wednesday, April 1 at 5 p.m. against Tennessee State in a doubleheader. A three-game series against Florida Atlantic will be played at home beginning Friday, April 3.