Lady Toppers rout Canisius in home opener

Austin Lanter

The WKU Lady Topper Softball team opened the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Spring Fling with an 8-1 win over Canisius Friday night to improve to 6-4-1 on the season.

Seven of the eight WKU runs came with two outs as the team scored one run in the third, two in the fourth and sixth, and three runs in the fifth inning.

“I thought we did a nice job using our short game,” coach Amy Tudor said. “We were very successful getting down bunts and people getting on the bags and then people came up with clutch hits and clutch situations. We were also able to steal a lot of bases.”

Canisius wasted no time getting on the board, tallying three hits and a run in the first inning.

All three hits came with two outs, but WKU was able to avoid further damage in the inning despite an error.

The run would be the only one senior pitcher Emily Rousseau allowed on the game. Overall she pitched six innings, allowed six hits, and struck out five.

With the win she moved to 4-4 on the season.

“Some of those (hits) fell in, but a hit’s a hit,” Tudor said. “I thought that she held her composure on the mound. The whole team had great composure coming from behind.”

The Lady Toppers got on the board in the third inning. After a leadoff single from infielder Olivia Watkins, freshman designated hitter Andie Martin hit a single to left field to bring Watkins home and tie the game at one.

WKU broke the tie in the fourth inning, scoring two runs with two outs.

Junior infielder Preslie Cruce hit an RBI single for the first run. The very next batter, Watkins, safely reached base and Cruce came home all the way from first due to a Canisius error.

The team extended its lead the next inning, scoring three runs with two outs in the inning. Senior infielder Amanda Thomas singled to score Martin and senior pitcher Emily Rousseau.

Cruce went to the plate right after to score another run with an RBI single.

A pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning would give the Lady Topper’s the 8-1 win.

On the night, Cruce went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI’s. Sophomore outfielder Bethany Oglesby also had two RBI’s on the night.

Next up for WKU will be Miami (OH) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.