Softball starts Inaugural C-USA season

Jonah Phillips

The WKU softball team starts its inaugural Conference USA season this weekend, traveling to Troy, Alabama for the Troy Chick-fil-A invitational.  

Despite C-USA coaches voting WKU to finish fifth in the 12-team conference, the Lady Toppers are the only team from the conference receiving votes in the ESPN.com USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll. 

“I think we all are pretty excited with it being our first season in Conference USA,” senior pitcher Miranda Kramer said. “We are just trying to build off last season and come out strong. I think it has all really come together these past couple of weeks.”

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Along with the new conference, Head Coach Amy Tudor has been tasked with getting the seven returning players on the same page as the 10 new student-athletes (five of who were added by way of transfer). 

“The older players have done a great job of welcoming in the freshman, and the sophomores and juniors have done a good job of blending with the newcomers,” Tudor said. “Everyone here wants to win, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.” 

This season, WKU will face nine teams that went to the NCAA postseason in 2014, including Michigan, Florida State, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Lipscomb, UK and Louisville. 

“I think it’s a pretty good schedule. I think it will prepare us for the postseason, and in order to get to the postseason we have to play teams who are ranked higher than us who have been there and gone farther. That’s our goal every season: to make the postseason, and in order to get there you have to play the best.”

WKU will play the University of Buffalo on Friday morning before taking on North Florida later that afternoon.  On Saturday, the Lady Toppers will face host school Troy, with WKU facing off again against Alabama State, Sunday afternoon before coming home. 

“I think the future is very bright. We haven’t played a game, but we have a lot of great newcomers and a lot of great returners,” Tudor said. “We are looking forward to this season in the new conference. We are just really excited about it. “