Lady Toppers drop two at South Alabama in conference opener

Zach Greenwell

The Lady Toppers didn’t get a warm welcome to Sun Belt Conference play on Saturday.

WKU (15-10, 0-2 Sun Belt) was out-scored 25-1 by South Alabama in a doubleheader sweep, dropping the opening two games of its first conference series in Mobile, Ala.

The Lady Toppers opened the day with an 8-0, six-inning loss, then followed with a 17-1 defeat in five innings in game two.

“We just had a tough day today,” Head Coach Tyra Perry said. “We have a tough team that can beat good teams that can hit, but we didn’t quite have anything go our way today or show up the way we needed to.”

South Alabama improved to 23-5 overall and 4-2 in conference.

The Lady Jaguars have now out-scored their opponents 195-71 this season. They had 23 hits across both games, while WKU was held to four — two in each game.

South Alabama had 13 of its hits in the second game of the day, including eight in the first inning that led to 10 runs.

WKU sophomore pitcher Kim Wagner (7-5) was able to record just one out in her start, surrendering the first 10 runs — nine earned.

Junior pitcher Dana Nathanson gave up four runs on seven hits in three innings of relief, while freshman Brittanie Albright picked up the final two outs.

South Alabama outfielders Brittany Fowler and Brittany Campbell combined for five hits and nine RBIs in the game.

WKU scored its lone run of the day in the top of the fifth inning, when junior right fielder Laura Smith drove in sophomore center fielder Katrina Metoyer with a double.

In the first game of the day, the Lady Toppers held South Alabama in check for four innings, but the Lady Jaguars scored seven combined runs over the next two frames.

Sophomore pitcher Mallorie Sulaski (6-3) took the loss for WKU, giving up five runs in 4 and 2/3 innings.

WKU finishes its series in Mobile with a third game at noon Sunday.

“We talk a lot about the preparation that we’ve done, and it’s helped us quite a bit this year,” Perry said. “Hopefully it’ll help us to refocus. We have not had losses this year where we haven’t come back the next day better, so hopefully the same will prevail tomorrow.”