Thomas crowned all-time home runs leader at WKU

Junior infielder Amanda Thomas warms up in the on-deck circle during WKU’s game against Samford. Thomas has recently set the WKU home run record with 32 home runs in three seasons.

Kyle Williams

The WKU softball team has been a force to be reckoned with this season thanks to strong offensive play at the plate.

WKU (31-13, 15-3 Sun Belt Conference) is riding an 11-game win streak dating back to April 10. This is the tenth time the Lady Toppers have eclipsed 30 wins in a season.

As a team, the Lady Toppers have allotted 39 home runs and 208 RBI in the 44 games thus far.

Junior infielder Amanda Thomas has accounted for 12 home runs and 45 RBI, both team highs.

Thomas was crowned the new queen of home runs at WKU after she belted a grand slam in the sixth inning of an 8-0 victory against Samford on April 10. The grand slam marked the second of her career and her second home run of the game.

The Mesquite, Tex., native said she wasn’t even aware she had set the record.

“I didn’t even really know what the record was,” Thomas said. ”I remember after the game my mom had called me and left me a voicemail…so I don’t really like to think about it too much, but it was exciting.”

Thomas has posted 32 home runs and 123 RBI in less than three full seasons as a Lady Topper.

Coach Tyra Perry said Thomas’ progression and passion is what puts her over the top.

“Amanda is tremendous,” Perry said. “She really cares a lot about Western Kentucky softball…she has continued to elevate the level of the program by her bat and by her play on defense and most importantly through her attitude…she is just a great young lady.”

Thomas has already tied her total for home runs last season in just 44 games this season. She has also surpassed her total for RBI by two and currently trails the all-time WKU RBI record by just six.

Perry said Thomas’ continued success is a result of her discipline.

“Amanda has a very high standard for herself,” Perry said. “She does not believe in doing things half way…sometimes we have to lay off of her a little bit because she’s beating herself up…she’s already her own coach.”

WKU (31-13, 15-3 Sun Belt Conference) is currently second in the Sun Belt standings, sitting half a game back of No. 17 South Alabama.

The Lady Toppers have beaten both No. 17 South Alabama and No. 21 Louisiana-Lafayette in Sun Belt series’ this season despite being ranked sixth in the conference’s preseason poll.

Thomas said the preseason snub gave the Lady Toppers a chip on their shoulder.

“That’s kind of what pushed us to show people what we really have,” Thomas said. “We had so many returners coming back and they put us as sixth…they didn’t really believe in us, so we’re making them believe in us now.”

Thomas has the rest of this season and all of next season to add to her impressive numbers. Perry said she believes Thomas has the potential to be the face of the program.

“I think she’ll leave a huge mark,” Perry said. “She’ll be someone that, when people think of Western Kentucky softball, they’ll think of her and her contributions on defense and on offense.”

With the season winding down, though, Thomas just has one thing in mind.

“I know that there’s going to be many more,” Thomas said. “I have another year left, but I don’t really want to focus on that. I want to focus on winning.”