WKU loses early lead, drops series finale to No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette

Hasani Grayson

The Lady Toppers scored early but not often in their 4-2 series finale loss against the Ragin’ Cajuns on Sunday.

WKU (28-23-1, 9-12-1 Sun Belt Conference) continued the trend of scoring early against No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette (44-2,19-2) when junior catcher Karavin Dew hit a double that hit off the top of the wall and scored sophomore outfielder Kelsie Mattox.

Dew was thrown out between second and third and was not on base when senior infielder Amanda Walden homered in the next at bat. The solo shot was her first of the year an came in her last home game of her college softball career.

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

The Lady Topper 2-0 lead didn’t last long, however, as the Ragin’ Cajuns answered back with a two out, two-run double that tied the game at two.

ULL threatened to score again in the top of the sixth when the first two hitters of the inning go on base with singles. The runners moved up a base on a fly ball and that’s when Head Coach Tyra Perry brought on junior Mallorie Sulaski in relief. Sulaski gave up another single to the first batter she faced and ULL took the 4-2 lead. They went on to win by that score. 

The WKU offense was not able to come back from ULL’s tow runs in the sixth. The Lady Topper offense, after three hit attack in the first, only had one more hit the rest of the game.

ULL made a pitching change after the two run first inning that kept WKU’s bats quiet the rest of the way. Walden didn’t think the pitching style of the pitcher that came on in relief was that different from the one that started the game.

“I don’t think there was a big difference,” she said. “The second pitcher was obviously pitching a good curve ball. I just think we didn’t adjust soon enough. If we had adjust quicker I have full confidence we would have scored more runs and won that game.”

Perry said that even though they were swept in all three games this weekend, she feels her team can turn a corner before the start of the conference tournament.

“We need to win at this point in order to get a good seeding in the tournament,” she said. “So we tried to play quality ball. We made a few miscues here and there but our effort was good.”

She thought the pitchers used in the series put in a good effort in the circle as well.

“They competed on each pitch,” she said. “Everything didn’t necessarily go their way but they competed on each pitch.” She also pointed out that Sulaski and Rousseau had high strike out totals that weekend.

With games at Middle Tennessee coming up next weekend Walden said that the team will be looking to fix the minor mistakes that kept them from winning this weekend.

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