WKU mercy rules Murray State in chilly home opener

Junior catcher Karavin Dew is signaled safe during WKU’s win over Murray State on Friday at the WKU Softball Complex. WKU won 9-1.

Hasani Grayson

WKU fans who weathered the cold temperatures and periodic rain on Friday were rewarded with a dominating Lady Topper win.

WKU (7-3) defeated Murray State (2-1) 10-1 in five innings on Friday at the WKU Softball Complex in its first game of the Hilltopper Spring Invitational.

The eight-run mercy rule came into effect in the bottom of the fifth inning when freshman infielder Shawna Sadler, who led the team with three RBIs, tripled with two runners on base.

Head Coach Tyra Perry said after the game that one of the keys to her team’s performance was switching focus from Friday morning classes to Friday afternoon softball.

“It’s always interesting when they’re going to class and then coming in,” she said. “So you never know what you’re going to get, trying to get them to refocus from the day.”

In addition to the challenge of making the adjustment from Friday classes to softball, both teams had to deal with the weather conditions. After mild temperatures on Thursday, the temperature at first pitch was in the mid 40’s.

The flag beyond the center field wall whipped throughout the game, indicating that it would be a tough day for outfielders on fly balls.

The Lady Toppers’ first two runs came when junior outfielder Katrina Metoyer doubled down the right field line on a ball that Murray State outfielder Mo Ramsey couldn’t come up with.

Perry said she told her team to not let the weather be an excuse for not executing.

“The other team is playing under the same conditions that we are and it’s the team that manages those conditions that’s going to win the ball game,” she said. “We talk about the wind and checking the flag and making sure that we own it instead of letting it own us.”

With the cold weather, sophomore pitcher Emily Rousseau had to take extra steps to keep her arm warm.

“We always had our jackets on in between innings because you get cold really fast and you feel like you’re not as loose anymore,” Rousseau said.

Rousseau, who only had to pitch five innings to get her third win of the season, gave up one unearned run, allowed one hit and recorded five strikeouts.

After the game, Rousseau gave her teammates credit for taking the pressure off of her pitching performance, saying that she didn’t have to worry about one hit threatening the lead.

WKU will look to keep the momentum going as the tournament continues on Saturday. The Lady Toppers play Morehead State at 3 p.m. and Bowling Green State at 5 p.m.