WKU wins in walk off, sweeps doubleheader

Junior pitcher Kim Wagner delivers a pitch during WKU’s game on Saturday against Morehead State. Wagner held the Eagles to one run, and the Lady Toppers beat the Eagles 4-1 in eight innings in the Hilltopper Spring Invitational at the WKU Softball Complex.

Hasani Grayson

WKU may not have put up the runs they did on Friday, but some key hits helped them to win both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. 

WKU (9-3) beat Bowling Green State (2-3) 5-1 and Morehead State (1-5) 4-1 in the Hilltopper Spring Invitational at the WKU Softball Complex, one day after beating Murray State 10-3.

The Lady Toppers won doubleheader nightcap against Bowling Green State in what was a tight game early on. WKU held on to a 1-0 lead until the sixth inning, when it plated four runs. 

Sophomore pitcher Emily Rousseau made the one-run lead hold up while she was on the mound, striking out four while surrendering just two hits and no runs in six innings. 

“I thought Emily did a great job,” Head Coach Tyra Perry said of Rousseau, who notched wins on consecutive days. “She was in command yesterday and today and she’s slowly starting to reach her full potential.” 

Perry said Rousseau is sill only at about 65 percent of what she is capable, but that the next few weeks will be key in assessing her abilities. 

“She’s still got a way to go but as we go into tomorrow and then the next two weeks we’re really going to see where she is,” Perry said. 

Rousseau’s strong pitching was backed by a sixth inning in which WKU was able to take advantage of two Bowling Green errors. WKU scored two unearned runs that inning while sophomore infielder Olivia Watkins drove in two more runs with a double. 

Sophomore pitcher Brittanie Albright finished off the game on the mound giving up one run as the Lady Toppers sealed a 5-1 victory. 

The first game of Saturday’s double header was a game that went to extra innings. WKU defeated Morehead State 4-1 in eight innings by a score of 4-1. The winning pitcher was Kim Wagner (4-1), who went all eight innings and lowered her ERA to 1.41. 

With WKU down 1-0 in the sixth inning time was running out for them to push the tying run across. After freshman infielder Preslie Cruce advance to third on an illegal pitch, junior outfielder Katrina Metoyer hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Cruce to score. 

Cruce was called safe at the plate though the Morehad fans in attendance were vocal in their disagreement of the umpire’s call. Perry said that play was too close to see clearly from where she stood. 

“It was a bang-bang play and it could go either way so we’ll take it,” she said. Perry went on to say that Cruce actually missed a sign on that play. 

“She was supposed to draw the throw and she’s a freshman so she kind of missed the signal but it worked out for us,” Perry said. “Thats the nature of the game. If you’re aggressive someetimes things will go your way.” 

The game stayed tied until the eighth inning. With Wagner shutting down Morehead in the top of the eighth, junior infielder Amanda Thomas came to the plate with two runners on and hit a walk off home run over the center field wall. Despite the high pressure situation Thomas said her approach was simple. 

“I was just trying to see the ball and hit the ball,” she said. “I knew there was a runner at third and there are so many ways you can score runners from third so I was just trying to swing hard and get a hit.” 

Thomas also said that the extra inning rules, where a team automatically gets a runner on second to start an inning, helped relax the team heading into that inning since they started off with someone in scoring position. 

WKU found a way to win despite not hitting as well as they did on Friday but Thomas thinks tonight performance will carry over tomorrow on offense 

“Our bats weren’t as hot today but I think we got better say the day went on so we can carry that into tomorrow,” she said.

WKU will take on Indiana State at 3 p.m. on Sunday to finish the Invitational.