WKU downs No. 25 South Alabama in weekend series

Kyle Williams

The Lady Toppers traveled to Mobile, Ala. this past weekend and picked up their second series win over a ranked opponent from the Sun Belt Conference.

WKU (19-11, 8-3 SBC) took down No. 25 South Alabama in two of three games to reclaim the top spot in the conference.

Junior pitcher Emily Rousseau tied her career high with 12 strikeouts in the first game while allowing four hits in all seven innings.

Rousseau didn’t hesitate when asked what allowed her to be so dominant on the road.

“My team,” Rousseau said. “They are just so supportive of us pitchers…whenever things got a little rough defensively for me, they came right back offensively and got some runs on the board. It just helps me pitch more relaxed.”

Junior infielder Amanda Thomas got the Lady Toppers on the board first in the fourth inning with her team-high eighth home run of the season.

WKU posted three home runs in the series despite facing some of the toughest pitchers in the conference.

Thomas said the Lady Toppers were just feeling it.

“We were just in the groove, I guess,” Thomas said.

Trailing 3-2 in the fifth inning, senior outfielder Katrina Metoyer regained the lead for WKU with a bases clearing hit to right.

The Lady Toppers went on to win game one 4-3.

South Alabama outhit WKU in the second matchup as the Lady Toppers fell 8-5.

Senior pitcher Mallorie Sulaski picked up the loss after allowing a total of nine hits.

Sophomore infielder Preslie Cruce gave WKU life in the third inning with her fifth home run of the season that scored junior outfielder Tiffany Gooch.

WKU was unable to capitalize with the bases loaded in the seventh inning.

The Lady Toppers used seven hits to win the tiebreaker 3-2 on Saturday.

Rousseau earned her 10th win of the season as she allowed seven hits while striking out eight batters. Rousseau had 20 strikeouts in the series.

“I think Emily has been phenomenal,” coach Tyra Perry said. “She’s been a big part of our success right now. She works hard every single day so that when she gets in the situations that she’s in, she’s prepared and focused.”

Cruce started the game with a solo home run over the right wall to give WKU an early lead.

South Alabama responded with a run before a Cruce RBI double gave the Lady Toppers a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning. Cruce totaled two home runs and five RBI on the weekend.

WKU would go on to win despite South Alabama tacking on another run in the final inning.

The Lady Toppers travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn. tonight to take on Middle Tennessee.