Lady Topper softball swept by Louisiana-Lafayette for first conference loss

Caught in a pickle, senior infielder Olivia Watkins changes directions to avoid being tagged by Louisiana-Lafayette sophomore third basemen Samantha Walsh on Saturday. The Cajuns bested WKU 8-4, and proceeded to sweep the weekend’s matches against the Lady Toppers, who had until then been undefeated in conference play. (Ian Maule/HERALD)

Austin Lanter

The WKU Lady Topper softball team went into the weekend with a perfect 6-0 record in the Sun Belt Conference. However, the No. 21 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns quickly put an end to that record, sweeping the Lady Toppers in a weekend series at the WKU Softball Complex.

ULL took all three games by scores of 8-4, 11-5, and 6-4, respectively, extending its own win streak to 13 games and moving to 45-12 all-time against WKU.

WKU (24-13-1, 6-3 Sun Belt Conference) was out hit 34-19 on the weekend and gave up five home runs, three in the first game Saturday and two in the second.


“ULL is just a great hitting team and we knew that coming into it,” senior pitcher Emily Rousseau said. “They’re obviously very well-coached in hitting and we kind of knew what to expect when we were coming in.

“Obviously they hit home runs a lot, but I think it was just knowing that we could compete with them in the end was kind of how we should have come into it,” she said.

Rousseau pitched 13 innings over the course of two games for the Lady Toppers. In her two appearances, she allowed 14 runs and 20 hits while striking out eight.

The other two pitchers, freshman Hannah Miniard and junior Janna Scheff, pitched 3.2 innings and 4.1 innings, respectively. The two combined to give up 11 runs on 14 hits while striking out six.

“I don’t think it was from lack of effort (from the pitchers),” coach Amy Tudor said. “When you miss against Louisiana-Lafayette, they’re going to put it over the fence or hit it hard somewhere. You can’t miss against a good hitter.”

There were a few instances over the weekend where WKU would score a couple runs but then turn right around and give those runs right back to ULL, something that made it hard for the team to come back from, according to Tudor.

“It’s like we would score and they would deflate us by scoring,” she said. “We’d score two, they’d score three. You can’t catch up when you’re that far behind.”

Big innings also plagued the Lady Toppers. There were eight innings over the course of three games where WKU allowed its opponents to score two or more runs in an inning. In game two, the team allowed six runs in the fourth inning, and in game three WKU allowed four runs in the fifth inning, an inning the team started with a 1-0 lead.

“They’re a really good hitting team and they outhit us the first two games,” senior infielder Olivia Watkins said. “The last game I felt like we matched hits with them but they had more clutch hitting.”

The team also left a total of 30 runners on base throughout the course of the series.

However, there were some bright spots. Three different Lady Toppers had home runs on the weekend: juniors Preslie Cruce and Jacqueline McGill and sophomore Brooke Holloway. Those three batters combined for eight RBIs on the weekend.

Senior infielder Amanda Thomas also hit .500 during the series for WKU.

The Lady Toppers will be back in action Wednesday as they travel to Belmont (11-21) for a game at 5 p.m. On Thursday, WKU will play Mississippi Valley State (7-29) at home starting at 4 p.m.