WKU softball drops series finale at Florida International

Nick Bratcher

The Lady Toppers attempted to win their second Sun Belt Conference series Sunday as they played Florida International.

WKU (23-22, 4-11 Sun Belt Conference) came up short of a winning weekend, though, and fell to FIU, 13-2, in the three-game series rubber match.

Head Coach Tyra Perry said the team fizzled after a strong first inning.

“We started out strong” she said. “The defense was there, but we just had one of the worst pitching performances of the season.”

The Lady Toppers did start out hot with a leadoff home run from freshman Kelsie Mattox in the first inning to put WKU up, 1-0, but fell behind from there.

FIU took the lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single from shortstop Kayla Burri and an error from freshman Amanda Thomas to bring FIU to a 2-1 lead.

FIU added a couple of insurance runs in the second inning when center fielder Beth Peller hit a two-RBI double, increasing the FIU lead to 4-1, which proved too steep for the Lady Toppers as FIU would climb even farther ahead from there.

FIU added more insurance in the third and fifth innings with a grand slam in the sixth cementing the win for FIU, 13-2, in six innings.

Sophomore Kim Wagner (10-12) took the loss for WKU, giving up four runs on two hits in three innings pitched.

Perry said the decline in pitching performance presents a continued concern for the team.

“It’s been a concern all year,” she said. “We haven’t pitched that great all year, but we’ve been able to overcome it.”

The Lady Toppers are currently battling for the eighth spot in the Sun Belt Conference with North Texas, which moved to 5-13 in league play Sunday. The ninth-place team in the conference is left out of the Sun Belt tournament.

WKU’s next game will offer a chance to improve, as it plays Sun Belt Conference foe Middle Tennessee on Wednesday in Murfreesboro, Tenn., at 6 p.m.