Lady Toppers drop second game of double-header

Lucas Aulbach

An inconsistent afternoon at the plate and on the mound pushed WKU to a 6-4 loss against South Alabama Saturday afternoon.

It was the second game of a double-header — the Lady Toppers dropped each game on Saturday after losing 3-2 in Game One.

“It’s always tough when you’re right there and you put yourself in a position to win the ballgame and you just don’t come though,” Coach Amy Tudor said after the game. “Sometimes that’s just how softball goes. I think we put forth a great effort, the ball just didn’t bounce our way.”

Freshman Hannah Miniard was on the mound for Game Two of the double-header for WKU (31-19-1).

Miniard struggled through the first few innings against USA (36-10). After getting out of the first inning without giving up a run, she gave up a bases-loaded single to USA’s Emily Messer in the top of the second to give the Lady Jaguars the first lead at 2-0. A wild pitch in the top of the third gave USA a 3-0 lead.

WKU got on the board in the bottom of the third on a two-run double from senior infielder Amanda Thomas, cutting the lead to 3-2.

The Lady Jaguars extended their lead in the top of the fifth with a two-run homer from Chloe Rathburn to bring the score to 5-2. WKU countered in the bottom of the frame, however, with a two-run single from junior outfielder Shawna Sadler. The teams entered the sixth inning with USA leading 5-4, and USA plated its final run on a wild pitch in the seventh.

Miniard had an up-and-down afternoon on the mound — she struck out eight batters and pitched through six innings, but gave up six hits and six walks and let the Lady Jaguars score on a wild pitch. Senior pitcher Emily Rousseau pitched the last inning for WKU — she also gave up a run on a wild pitch.

Tudor said Miniard had a good afternoon, but walked too many batters.

“Walks killed her today,” she said. “But I thought she managed her game OK considering how many people she walked.”

Thomas said the Lady Toppers were close to a breakthrough but couldn’t get hits when it mattered.

“In a game like that it comes down to the little things — extra bases and little hits here and there,” she said. “They just did it better than us, and they took advantage of those little things.”

The Lady Toppers will be back in action at the WKU Softball Complex tomorrow at noon against the Lady Jaguars.

You can check out a recap of WKU’s 3-2 loss in the first game of the double-header here: