Aulbach: Warmer temperatures mean it’s baseball season

WKU’s junior left handed pitcher Ian Tompkins (10) pitches during the 8th inning of WKU’s 6-4 victory over Southern Illinois Feb. 16, 2014, at Nick Denes Field in Bowling Green, Ky. (Mike Clark/HERALD)

Lucas Aulbach

When I look at the forecast for the next few days — it’s supposed to be in the upper-50’s all weekend, based on Tuesday’s projections — the first thing that comes to my mind is “baseball weather.”

I’ll be the first to admit I miss the warmer times of football season. Basketball might be my favorite sport to watch, but I love sitting outside on a nice day, relaxing in the stands (or in the press box, if I’m on assignment) and watching a competitive sport.

Maybe I’m just glad I don’t have to worry about freezing when I step outside anymore, but this week’s mild temperatures have had me longing for an afternoon at the diamond.

With the weather taking a turn for the better, it’s only fitting that the WKU baseball and softball teams will both be playing in town this weekend.

WKU fans have already had a few chances to catch the Topper baseball team (and air-guitar hero Coach Matt Myers) this season as the squad picked up a pair of wins at Nick Denes Field last weekend over Southern Illinois.

The WKU bats have been hot so far this year — the Toppers have scored 17 runs through four games — but they’ll need to keep hitting if they want to top a UNC-Asheville team looking to pick up a few wins in its first weekend series of the season.

This weekend also marks the formal introduction of new softball coach, Amy Tudor, who is making her debut on the Bowling Green diamond as the Lady Toppers finally get to take the field on their home turf in the four-game Hilltopper Spring Fling.

The WKU softball team has seen plenty of action already this season in separate tournaments in Ft. Myers, Fla., and Los Angeles. But this weekend’s home stretch should give local fans a chance to check out the squad as it looks to follow up last season’s historic trip to the NCAA tournament.

Tudor and the Lady Toppers have had mixed results so far — the team currently sits at 5-4-1 through the first 10 games of the season — but a few convincing wins this weekend would go a long way in proving this team has reloaded after losing former coach Tyra Perry and former senior stars such as pitcher Mallorie Sulaski.

A good weekend from hard-hitting senior second baseman Olivia Watkins (currently batting .545) and 2013 Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year Emily Rousseau could turn things around.

It’s still early in the season, but both squads already have a lot to play for. This weekend should be competitive and fun at the ballpark — the weather is just the icing on the cake.