Kentucky beats WKU in front of record crowd

Hasani Grayson

In front of a record crowd on Wednesday, WKU couldn’t find enough offense and fell 4-2 to Kentucky at the WKU Softball Complex.

The excitement before the game was at a high level as many of the 807 fans had to stand the whole game once all the seats were filled. Not included in the attendance figure were the fans who sat on top of the trucks they had parked beyond the outfield wall who watched the game for free from the outside.

There was a little extra excitement for seniors, Amanda Walden and Laura Smith who were high school teammates of Kentucky starting pitcher Rachel Riley. Smith and Walden went a combined 0-for-4 but Walden said she was happy to see her former teammate.

“Before the game we saw each other… and we got to catch up a little bit but before the game you really don’t want to talk to the competition even though you’re really good friends,” Walden said.

Walden said and Smith were able to catch up with their former teammate more after the game was over.

The Wildcats kicked off the scoring in the top of the second inning when Ginny Carroll hit a two run home run. Two more runners would reach in the inning but junior pitcher Kim Wagner would get out of the inning without giving up anymore runs.

Head Coach Tyra Perry found herself at odds with umpires again, however after junior catcher Karavin Dew made a snap throw to first after a strike out. The runner at first was originally called out by the first base umpire but after a brief discussion with the other umpires the call was overruled.

Perry came out to argue again in the bottom of the third when Dew was called out trying to steal second base. The call helped end the Lady Toppers’ threat to score in that inning

Perry said that even though she disagreed with some of the calls, they weren’t the reason WKU lost to Kentucky that evening.

“There’s always going to be something you don’t like,” she said. “But that hasn’t been the difference in our games lately. The ones that we’ve been losing, its us.”

As the WKU offense was stalled UK took advantage by hitting another home run off of Wagner. Sophomore Emily Rousseau came into the game in relief. Rousseau was able to get the first two outs but gave up back-to-back hits to allow another run to score and put the Wildcats up 4-0.

The score stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth in which sophomore infielder Amanda Thomas hit a two run homer to cut the UK lead in half.

Thomas said that she doesn’t normally look to take the first strikes like she did in that at bat but found a way to battle back

“I kept telling myself to be tough, and I was trying to track the ball, see the ball, and hit it, she said.

Rousseau pitched a clean top of the seventh to keep the deficit from getting any larger but WKU failed to get a runner unto scoring position in that inning and feel to their cross state rival 4-2.

“We’ve had some situations that would come up and we needed someone to rise up and it hasn’t happened quite yet,” said Perry when talking about the offense that had five hits on the evening and only advanced a runner to second base three time throughout the game.

One of the bright spots in the game was the performance of Rousseau who only gave up one run and helped keep the Lady Toppers in the game.

“I just came in confident ready to shut them down so we could get in and start scoring,” she said.

The runs were not enough to bring WKU back but Rousseau said her team is looking to stop its recent string of losses against Eastern Kentucky on Thursday.

“We are trying to turn things around right now,” she said. “We’re looking to build back our confidence in ourselves and in each other so tomorrow we’re just looking to put a stop to this.”