Two Down, Two To Go: Lady Toppers two wins from first Sun Belt tournament title

The WKU softball team completed a three-game sweep against Louisiana Monroe on Sunday. The Toppers defeated the Warhawks 8-3.

Kyle Williams

No. 1 seed WKU (40-14) is riding an eight-game win streak and needs just two more wins to be crowned champions of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

WKU topped Louisiana-Monroe Wednesday and North Texas Thursday in the first two rounds of the tournament to earn a spot in the conference semifinals. WKU will move on to face the winner of Friday’s 10 a.m. game between Florida Atlantic and Louisiana-Lafayette.

The top-seeded Lady Toppers used 13 hits to seal a resounding 9-1 first-round victory over No. 8 seed Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday at the Troy Softball Complex.

Senior pitcher Mallorie Sulaski allowed just two hits en route to a 3-1 victory over No. 4 seed North Texas in the second round on Thursday.

Sulaski, who pitched all seven innings while giving up just one run, said the Lady Toppers are prepared for any possible opponent moving forward to the semifinals.

“It’s a great win,” Sulaski said. “I’m really excited about it…I’m ready to play whoever.”

Thursday’s win was a landmark for WKU — the Lady Toppers eclipsed the 40-win mark for the first time in school history in the win against North Texas.

Two more wins would break more school records. WKU is looking to attain its first ever conference tournament title and automatic NCAA regional berth after locking up the regular-season conference title outright.

The No. 1 seed Lady Toppers went 5-1 in the regular season against Florida Atlantic and Louisiana-Lafayette this year, including a sweep of Florida Atlantic at the WKU Softball Complex in March.

The only loss came to Louisiana-Lafayette, at that point ranked No. 15 in the NCAA, on the road in March.

WKU has found success lately against Sun Belt opponents. The Lady Toppers are riding a 14-game Sun Belt win streak dating back to March.

Sulaski said the key to making it to the championship game is playing sound Lady Topper softball.

“Just keep doing the same thing we are,” Sulaski said. “We need to take it pitch-by-pitch and inning-by-inning. We just need to play Western Kentucky softball.”

The Lady Toppers are set to take the field at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Troy Softball Complex, though their opponent in the round has yet to be determined.

A win in Friday’s game would solidify a spot in the Sun Belt championship game on Saturday.