Miniard throws no hitter, MTSU looms

Austin Lanter

Home runs and a no-hitter highlighted the weekend for WKU as it swept UT-Arlington by scores of 8-5, 8-0 and 4-2 respectively.

The Lady Toppers (23-10-1, 6-0 Sun Belt Conference) have now won their last seven games.

Freshman pitcher Hannah Miniard threw her first no-hitter as a Lady Topper in the second game of the series, making it the second no-hitter in four games for WKU. Senior Emily Rousseau threw one last Sunday against Troy.

It is the first time that two no-hitters have been thrown by WKU in the same season and the seventh no-hitter in school history.

Miniard walked four on the day and struck out nine in the 8-0 win.

The team tallied four home runs and 16 runs in day one of play.

“We had a really good week of practice the week before we went down there,” coach Amy Tudor said. “Thursday we actually hit live off of all of our pitchers, except Emily, and we hit fantastic. I think we carried that confidence into the weekend. I think hitters really got the pitch they were looking for and all through the lineup. I thought we were very productive.”

On Sunday, Miniard once again took the mound for WKU and threw a complete game allowing just two runs on four hits and struck out a season-high 12 batters in the 4-2 win.

“I thought Hannah threw exceptionally well this weekend,” Tudor said. “She kept the hitters off balance, she hit her spots well and just really did a nice job for us.”

Next up for WKU will be Middle Tennessee in a midweek, non-conference matchup tomorrow at the WKU Softball Complex at 5:00 p.m.

The Blue Raiders (7-28, 2-9 Conference USA) are playing in opposite directions from the Lady Toppers as they’ve lost seven of their last eight games.

Tudor said the focus was on UTA and that they will be getting to Middle soon. She said she doesn’t know a whole lot about the team, but she does have some expectations going in.

“I know that their strength is probably their hitting,” she said. “Their weakness is pitching, so I’m hoping to manage to score a lot of runs on them and I expect our pitchers to keep us in the ballgame.”

Tudor said there were some things that she saw this weekend from the team that will be key moving forward towards MTSU and conference opponent Louisiana-Lafayette this weekend.

“I thought we hit the ball solid,” she said. “We always want to square up the ball and I thought we did that. Even on some batters that didn’t get hits, I felt like we hit good pitches and were patient in our at bats, which is key going into conference.”