Close games against No. 6 ULL keep WKU optimistic

Sophomore Emily Rousseau pitches during the first game of a doubleheader against Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday at the WKU Softball Complex. WKU lost the first game 4-1.

Hasani Grayson

The Lady Toppers weren’t able to find the win column in this weekend’s three-game set against conference leading and No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette. But the team was pointing to positives after the series. 

Head Coach Tyra Perry said she liked how her team competed even though they were swept by the Ragin’ Cajuns. 

Advertisement

“You never want to lose, but I thought our team played great,” she said. “We really played solid defense, our pitchers stepped up and competed every pitch. I saw signs of some of the things I’ve been looking for.”

Perry was hoping that the effort she got from her team would translate to a series win, but ULL was able to pull out a close win in the series finale by a final score of 4-2.

WKU scored two runs in the first inning including a home run by senior infielder Amanda Walden. 

Walden got the start in her final home game of her college softball career and said she’s been having some better at bats recently. 

“It felt really good. I’ve been seeing the ball really well this weekend,” she said. “Hitting a home run felt really good — I just wish we could have pulled the game out in the end.” 

The lead in the game was short lived as the Ragin’ Cajuns tied it up with a two-run double in the next inning. 

Sophomore pitcher Emily Rousseau got into some trouble in the sixth and had to give way to junior pitcher Mallorie Sulaski. The two base runners she inherited scored, and WKU’s offense was stopped the rest of the way in the series finale loss. 

WKU lost both games of the doubleheader on Saturday by scores of 4-1 and 2-1 respectively. The 2-1 loss in the night cap featured a strong showing from Sulaski, who had kept the the ULL offense quiet all game long, gave up a two-run home run in the top of the seventh. 

Sulaski said all her pitches were working that game, and the results of the day showed that if they could make a few minor changes, they could’ve won both games that day. 

“They’re ranked top 10 in the nation, so this obviously shows that we can play with anyone,” Sulaski said. “We just need to do a few different things and we’re going to win that game.” 

The 4-1 loss in the series opener was the largest margin of victory for the Cajuns that weekend, but even though all four runs were charged to Rousseau, Perry said it was going to be hard for the offense to back up her performance in the circle. 

“These pitchers are All-American candidates, former All-Americans, and they do a really good job of moving the ball and changing speeds,” she said.

WKU faced a tough ULL team in their final home game, but they still have a doubleheader against Middle Tennessee to close out conference play next weekend. Walden said the team will be working hard in practice this week. 

“Overall, we feel really good. We’re going to hit hard these next couple of days in practice,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll tweak the little things that are wrong so we can play our best ball at Middle Tennessee.”