Long ball fuels WKU offense in home finale win

Hasani Grayson

In the last home game of the season, WKU used its power to put itself past Evansville 3-0.

Sophomore infielder Amanda Thomas got the offense going for the Lady Toppers hitting her first home run since April 1. The two-run shot gave junior pitcher Kim Wagner a lead to work with going into the top of the third.

“I’ve been putting in the work to get my confidence back,” Thomas said. “I was just trying to see it off her hit and see it all the way through and I think that’s what gave me that hit.”

Thomas also explained part of the reason for her slump was that the in conference pitchers adjusted and started pitching away from her strengths.

“I was swining at a lot of balls that they weren’t picthing me,” she said ‘The conference pitchers know me because of last year so they’ve been not pitching me as good of pitches and I was chasing after it.”

Fellow sophomore Kelsie Mattox got a little more insurance for Wagner in the fifth when she hit a solo home run in the fifth to put the score at 3-0 in favor of WKU (29-23-1).

There wasn’t a whole lot going on offensively for the for the Purple Aces. Wagner scattered 6 hits and worked though four fielding errors on her way to getting the complete game shut out victory.

Head Coach Tyra Perry said that Wagner’s command was key to her success that day.

“She just made her pitches and hit her spots,” Perry said. “That’s something we expect from each pitcher.”

Wagner had three strike outs and just one walk on her way to getting her 13th victory of the season. She also got her ERA down from 2.50 to 2.36 with her seven scoreless innings on Thursday.

The last home game of the season was also the last home game in the careers of seniors Laura Smith and Amanda Walden. But Perry said they weren’t distracted by their last game at WKU’s Softball Complex.

“It’s human nature to feel a little bit more emotion,” she said “So I guess we saw  little of that but those two are really good kids and they work hard everyday.”

Perry also thinks that despite how easy it would be to look past this weekend’s games at Middle Tennessee, that her team will be ready to play then too.

“They’re a conference opponent, they’re a rival, we’re focused every time we go play.”