Lady Tops try to shake off three losses at Troy

Nick Bratcher

The Lady Toppers ventured to Troy for a three-game series last weekend, trying to follow a midweek split against Samford with some success in the Sun Belt Conference.

But WKU fell short, getting swept by the Trojans over three games.

The Lady Toppers first lost both games of Saturday’s doubleheader, 1-0 in the first and 7-6 in the second. They then dropped the series finale on Sunday, 9-0, in six innings.

A multitude of problems plagued WKU throughout the weekend.

The Lady Toppers managed just two hits in their shutout loss that opened the weekend.

Then WKU actually out-hit Troy in its second game, 11-8, but still came up short, lacking timely hitting.

In their third game, the pitching staff gave up eight walks, and Head Coach Tyra Perry said that number buried the team’s chances.

Sophomore outfielder Katrina Metoyer said the Lady Toppers’ numbers were evident to the team.

“One moment our hitting is there, but our fielding isn’t, and the next, our hitting is there but our pitching isn’t,” she said. “We need to have consistency.”

Junior Amanda Walden said the Lady Toppers’ woes didn’t stem from lack of effort, though.

“We came out here hoping we would get three wins, and we obviously didn’t do that,” she said. “We were confident and had the heart and everything we need to win, but we just couldn’t put a couple things together.”

Perry said the team’s problems were multiplied by the close losses sustained on Saturday.

“We needed both games Saturday to spark us for Sunday instead of being down, but we couldn’t quite get those wins,” Perry said.

WKU fell to eighth place in the Sun Belt with the losses, seven games behind first-place Louisiana-Lafayette.

Perry said the team needed to look past the setback and keep pressing on through the season’s remaining conference games.

“We’re still in it,” she said. “We have to keep competing because we have four series —  that’s 12 games — left, and we have to keep playing.”

The next three-game series comes this weekend at Florida International, starting with a doubleheader at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday. The final game will be at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Metoyer said the in-conference pressure may be getting to the players because the team is so young.

“We are a young team,” she said. “I don’t ever think about it because it’s just another game to me, but pressure could be getting to some of our younger players.”

Walden said she was optimistic about the future as long as the team kept in mind why it plays the game in the first place.

“We have to play like it’s a game we love to play in order for us to win,” she said. “It’s hard, especially losing by so little Saturday, but hopefully we’ll get it together and start winning again.”

Perry said the team’s recent funk can’t be instantly fixed with extra work. But she said that’s only because the team has already learned what it needs to win.

“We’re all going to have to work together and believe in each other to come out of this,” she said.