WKU drops two of three at home against FIU

Junior Katrina Metoyer slides into third base during the second game of a doubleheader against FIU Saturday afternoon at the WKU Softball Complex. WKU won 7-6.

Hasani Grayson

The Lady Toppers had a hard time keeping Florida International off the scoreboard this weekend as they lost a three-game home series to the Panthers.

WKU’s series finale ended in a 9-6 loss. FIU’s starting lineup, which had eight combined home runs going into the first game of the series, hit five homers over the course of the weekend.  

Many of the home runs FIU hit this weekend seemed to get some extra help from windy conditions.

WKU (25-17-1, 7-7-1 Sun Belt Conference) had just one home run in the series finale, but Head Coach Tyra Perry wasn’t using the wind as the excuse for their 9-6 loss.

“We always say that both teams are playing under the same conditions,” she said. “It kind of negates things a bit, but I think that first home run especially caught a jet stream and got some help.”

WKU used three pitchers on Sunday. Sophomores Emily Rousseau and Brittanie Albright gave up a combined eight earned runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched.

Perry was happy with how the offense and defense played but said that her pitchers have a lot they can do to improve.

“You can’t give up hits with two strikes and two outs. We gave up a lot,” she said. “We need to not give, and we need to take.”

The second game of the series would yield the only win of the series for the Lady Toppers. Sophomore outfielder Kelsie Mattox came up in the bottom of the seventh with WKU down by one with runners on second and third and two outs.

She singled up the middle on a hit that allowed both runners to score and brought WKU the walk-off 7-6 win.

“I was just looking to have a quality at-bat,” she said, “I hadn’t been seeing the ball as well as I’d like to earlier. So I was just trying to see the ball deep, swing at strikes.”

Perry was careful not to get too excited about the win and said simply that her pitchers “do their best and play their game.”

Junior pitcher Mallorie Sulaski had been knocked out of the game in the fourth. Junior pitcher Kim Wagner came on in relief and worked out of a bases-loaded jam that inning but had trouble as the game continued. She gave up four runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings pitched.

WKU pitchers gave up their fewest amount of runs in the series opener, but compared to the rest of the games that weekend, the bats were relatively quiet as WKU fell 4-1.

All of the runs Rousseau gave up that game were in the fourth inning, and the offense was unable to back her up, getting just five hits.

Senior outfielder Laura Smith, who started all three games in right field and had two RBIs on Sunday, was disappointed with the different aspects of the team’s overall game but said that she wants to quietly lead the team as the conference tournament gets nearer.

“I’m more of a leader by example kind of person,” she said. “As far as leading for the team, I just try to put forth the best example I can and have everyone else follow.”