Perry sets milestone as Lady Toppers go 3-1 in Hilltopper Classic

Sophomore pitcher janna Scheff pitches the ball during the WKU vs. Dayton softball game at Buchanon Field on Sunday, February 24.

Kyle Williams

History was set at the annual Hilltopper Classic this weekend as the Lady Toppers won three of four games.

With a victory over Dayton in the tournament’s final game, coach Tyra Perry became the winningest coach in WKU softball history. Perry has recorded 158 wins in her six seasons at WKU.

“It feels great because it means we won some games,” Perry said. “All of those types of things are special because of the group that you’re with and the coaching staff that we have.”

Due to field conditions at Buchanon Park, day one of the tournament was held at the WKU Softball Complex, where the Lady Toppers beat Valparaiso 3-0.

Junior pitcher Emily Rousseau struck out a career-high 11 batters and gave up just one hit against Valparaiso.

“It was just exciting because it was the first home game for us,” Rousseau said. “I guess it was just the adrenaline. They just feel confident in me and I feel confident in myself.”

Senior outfielder Katrina Metoyer hit the first homerun of the year for WKU in the 3-0 victory.

The Lady Toppers fell to Pittsburgh 6-4 on day two. Junior infielder Olivia Watkins went 4-4 at the plate and junior infielder Amanda Thomas had two hits and three RBIs.

WKU (5-3) went on to beat Western Michigan in game two of the Saturday double-header by a score of 5-2.

Rousseau improved to 3-1 on the season after striking out nine batters and giving up just two runs on five hits. Sophomore Jacqueline McGill finished with two hits and two RBI.

Sophomore pitcher Janna Scheff earned her first win of the season in the 7-2 victory over Dayton. She pitched all seven innings and gave up just two earned runs on five hits.

The Lady Toppers scored seven runs on 14 hits, four of them coming in the first inning. Sophomore infielder Shawna Sadler recorded and inside-the-park home run. Perry said base running is vital moving forward.

“It was tremendous,” Perry said. “Speed never goes in a slump, so if you can have your fast players out there putting the ball down, it’s a big threat…so for our speed players to keep playing the way that they are it’s going to be huge for us.”

Perry said the Lady Toppers are improving and capitalizing on early-season opportunities.

“I feel like we’re getting better every game,” Perry said. “Hopefully we’ll peak at the right time…we’re using these early games to shift things around and look at different lineups and look at different players in different spots, so we’re getting what we need out of the early games and at the same time we’re getting better with each game.”