WKU pitchers give solid performance in doubleheader sweep

Hasani Grayson

WKU’s pitching allowed one run in both of Saturday’s games against Louisiana-Monroe, as the Lady Toppers swept the doubleheader.

WKU (27-17-1, 9-7-1 Sun Belt Conference) defeated ULM (19-23, 5-14) by a final of 4-1 in both games.

In the second game of the the day the Lady Toppers got a strong start in the circle from junior Kim Wagner. Wagner (12-4) gave up one run in the second inning but got two runs of support in the fourth with a two-run homer from freshman infielder Preslie Cruce.  

Cruce said she hasn’t made any major changes to her swing of late and credited her recent success to her work in practice.

She also said that it was important for her to not get down on herself if she has trouble at the plate.

“Even if I’m in a slump I keep my head high and I can’t wait for the next at-bat to see the middle of the ball,” Cruce said.

Cruce hasn’t been slumping of late, as she leads the team in batting average at .308. She also leads the team in runs scored with 35.

The Lady Toppers took advantage of two throwing errors in the sixth and get two more insurance runs late in the game. Wagner gave up six walks and five hits in the game but allowed just the one earned run as WKU defeated ULM 4-1.

The first game produced the same result as the second game with WKU winning 4-1, but the win required some late inning dramatics from the Lady Topper offense.

With the game tied at one heading into the seventh WKU got a key two-out hit from Ciara Garcia with runners on second and third. Her late inning double pushed WKU ahead 3-1.

Garcia came around to score when the next batter, sophomore infielder Kelsie Mattox, singled up the middle to bring the score to 4-1.

Head Coach Tyra Perry said that her advice to hitters late in games isn’t too different from what she normally tells them.

“We talk about being on the attack and hitting good pitches,” she said

Sophomore pitcher Emily Rousseau pitched all seven innings and kept the Warhawks off the scoreboard in the final frame.

Rousseau gave up her lone run in the fourth inning and gave up five hits and four walks on her way to getting her 12th win of the year.

Perry praised both her pitchers after the game saying that they did a good job of doing the little things to get batters out.

“They worked ahead and did a very good job of finishing with two strikes,” she said.

Perry said that during the team meeting after the second game that she gave them credit for winning the first two games but reminded them their job was to take all three games from ULM.

Cruce said that the confidence from Saturday’s wins should carry over to Sunday as the Lady Toppers try to move up from fifth in the conference standings.

“We’re really confident,” she said. “We’re ready to go out there and take the sweep.”