Pratt: Campus provided sports weekend unlike any other

WKU senior infielder Scott Wilcox misses a hit during the University of North Carolina vs WKU game at Nick Denes field on Sunday. The Toppers swept the weekend’s competition with three wins over the Bulldogs. (Tyler Essary/HERALD)

Elliott Pratt

If you take out the overwhelming allergies I’ve come down with due to the temporarily abrupt awakening of spring, this weekend was a heavenly portrait for sports on the Hill.

Nine games over three days and a Dale Earnhardt Jr. win in the Daytona 500 made for an extremely nice weekend.

If you’re reading this and went home this weekend, shame on you. 

I, for one, woke up Saturday morning and decided I would make an effort to catch the most of every sport on Saturday that I could, so I felt it appropriate to coin my actions as #BallHoppin.

I made it out for 2.5 innings of the Lady Topper softball game before walking over to Diddle for the first half of the Lady Topper basketball game.

After watching 20 minutes of a blow-out, I left and caught the last five innings of WKU baseball.

Once the Toppers finished up at Nick Denes Field, it was on over to Diddle for the men’s game against Louisiana-Monroe.

Lots of people thought it would be a tiring experiment to hop from ball game to ball game, but the weather and the product on the field/court made the entire day fly really fast.

While I was at each game and even after I had left, I learned a few things about the team’s and on Saturday, there was an overarching theme from each.

For the short time I was at the softball complex, the Lady Toppers hit everything they wanted to early and scored three runs in the second inning.

For the tournament overall, it was impressive to see that WKU dominated every team it played.

The team outscored their opponents 22-3 over the four-game weekend.

It’s still early in the year, but it looks like first-year coach Amy Tudor has the defending Sun Belt Conference champions in good shape with sights to repeat.

Then I ball hopped over to Diddle for midday hoops action where I learned the Lady Toppers are still playing ridiculous ball, and that’s ridiculous in a good way.

20 minutes was all I needed to see to ensure I wouldn’t miss anything big in the second half before hopping over to another game.

It’s not like the Lady Toppers are getting a run late to pull away from teams or are playing it close and finding a rhythm to set in their game plan – they’re flat out beating teams up and taking names.

And this is subject is a beaten horse, but they’re doing it all without Alexis Govan.

WKU’s halftime point reach of 53 and 52 in the last two games has marked a team-high in the Michelle Clark-Heard era each week. If Alexis was still playing, man that would be fun. 

At the Nick, pitching continues to be a strength and the bats are hot. For a weekend series against Matt Myers’ old team, the Toppers totaled 43 hits in the series sweep.

The only thing that’s going to hinder this team is how much better their opposition is at the plate.

The pitching rotation is solid for WKU, so teams are just going to have to out-hit them to win.

Hopping back to Diddle, basketball changed some things up, but it worked out into the dominating win they needed.

The Toppers jumped out to an 18-1 lead over the Warhawks by using an uniquely different starting lineup with sophomore big man Daouda Soumaoro in the mix.  Soumaoro contributed 27 minutes and grabbed eight boards.

It was an anticlimactic win for the Toppers. After that 18-1 start, ULM could only cut the deficit by as low as nine points on the game.

With George Fant in foul trouble and T.J. Price only logging five minutes due to soreness in his right shoulder.

The win was what WKU needed to knock out the bad taste from its loss to South Alabama and locked up a place in the Sun Belt Tournament in New Orleans over spring break.

With softball and baseball carrying on the strong hitting into Sunday with wins, all sports on the Hill hit everything they wanted to and did so in dominating fashion, winning all nine events over a three-day span.

As I write this sipping on a diet Mountain Dew in honor of Dale Jr.’s 500 win, I see there isn’t going to be another weekend on campus like what we just had in a very long time.

By long time I mean you’ll have to wait until next spring.

So if you went home this weekend, it’s your loss. You missed a weekend unlike any other on the Hill.