WKU softball splits doubleheader, finds first Sun Belt win

Cole Claybourn

Head Coach Tyra Perry said the Lady Toppers had been beating themselves since conference play started.

But WKU (18-13, 1-5 Sun Belt Conference) found a way to beat Florida Atlantic (18-16, 2-1 Sun Belt) and earn a split in Sunday’s home doubleheader, claiming its first Sun Belt Conference victory of the season at the WKU Softball Complex.

The Lady Toppers lost the first game of the day, 7-3, before winning 6-3 in the second game.

“The win was important for us,” Perry said. “The second game we were able to put hits together and get the win. We had hitting throughout the lineup, and we were more definitive at the plate. We were on a mission to hit the ball and hit it hard.”

The Lady Toppers started off the second game strong with five runs in the first three innings but allowed FAU to hang around for the first three.

After WKU scored in the bottom of the first, FAU took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second. But a two-run home run from sophomore center fielder Katrina Metoyer’s put WKU back on top 3-2.

FAU then tied it at three apiece in the top of third before WKU scored two more in the bottom half to take the lead for good.

The Lady Toppers out-hit FAU, 12-5, in the game.

Sophomore Mallorie Sulaski pitched seven innings and gave up five hits and three runs, just two of which were earned.

“We just answered them,” Sulaski said. “When they’d get a run, we’d get a run back and come back ahead. In the games where we didn’t win, we’d kind of stay back and wait for things to happen. In this game, we really just went out there and made things happen for ourselves.”

The first game of the doubleheader was a different story.

The Lady Toppers dug themselves an early 4-0 hole when sophomore starting pitcher Kim Wagner allowed a two-out grand slam to FAU’s Kerri Croney in the second inning.

Freshman shortstop Amanda Thomas responded with a solo home run in the bottom half.

Wagner again loaded the bases in the third inning and was relieved by freshman Brittanie Albright. She walked in a run and then gave up a two-run double that gave FAU a 7-1 lead.

Thomas hit another solo home run, this one coming in the fourth inning, but WKU could score just one more run after that.

“The previous games we were behind in the first or second inning,” Perry said. “It’s really difficult on your hitters to try to hit us out of a deficit.

“We’ve been making a lot of errors and not getting timely hits. The second game we were able to do those things.”

The Lady Toppers next play a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday at Lipscomb.