Lady Toppers show fight, but lose sixth-straight over senior weekend

Senior pitcher Emily Rousseau delivers a pitch during her teams 3-2 loss against South Alabama Saturday. (Ian Maule/HERALD)

Austin Lanter

WKU softball coach Amy Tudor called it the hardest week of the season. Even though that week ended without a win against two teams in the top 25, she wasn’t completely unhappy.

The Lady Toppers have now dropped six straight games, which included a sweeping defeat at the hands of South Alabama over the weekend.

“I felt like hitting wise, besides the Lipscomb game, we hit the ball well enough to win,” Tudor said. “The other two parts of our game we have to put together. I felt like sometimes we played good defense, sometimes we were pitching well. We’ve got to piece it all together and that’s what we’re missing a little bit.”

The first two games of the series were close with WKU (31-20-1, 10-8 Sun Belt Conference) losing by a combined three runs. South Alabama took game three, 9-5, with three of the five WKU runs coming in the final inning.

The Jaguars outhit WKU 31 to 24 on the series, including 16 to 9 in game three.

The Lady Toppers took a lead into the final inning of the first game 2-1 before the Jaguars connected on back-to-back two out RBI doubles off of senior pitcher Emily Rousseau to take the game 3-2.

In game two, South Alabama (37-10, 14-5 SBC) jumped out to a lead early and was able to hold on the remainder of the game to take the doubleheader sweep 6-4.

In the series finale, the Jaguars scored in five of the seven innings and built up a seven-run lead. The Lady Toppers, however, did not quit and fought till the end, adding three runs in the bottom of the seventh for a final score of 9-5.

Tudor sent three pitchers to the mound Sunday, each of whom threw 2.1 innings. Between the three of them, they only struck out two batters and also gave up at least two runs.

Despite the six-game losing streak, senior infielder Kelsie Mattox said she found out a lot about the team over the course of the week.

“We’re made of a lot of fight,” Mattox said. “We have a lot of heart so going into next weekend and Evansville, we just have to put that into effect and get all our parts working together.”

Next up for WKU is a Tuesday game against Evansville (18-30) at 5 p.m. It will be the last home game of the season for the Lady Toppers before they travel to Georgia State (28-24, 10-8 SBC) to end the season.

For Tudor, it’s the mental aspect that’s key going forward.

“We’re hoping to come out and break that mentality of losing because the mental game is huge,” Tudor said.