WKU softball gets back on track with two home wins

Nick Bratcher

The Lady Toppers entered Tuesday searching for their first win at the WKU Softball Complex as they played a doubleheader against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

WKU (13-5) put a stop to its home skid, defeating SIUE in its first game, 4-0, and in the second, 7-2.

The Lady Toppers improved their home record to 2-3 with the wins.

Head Coach Tyra Perry said the team’s timely hitting made the difference from Monday’s home loss to Bowling Green State, 6-3.

“We came ready to play,” she said. “We had less hits and less runners, but we had hits in a row. So when this team puts hits together, we have a good shot at winning.”

The Lady Toppers struck first with an RBI double by sophomore Kim Wagner in the first inning of the first game to put the team up, 1-0.

WKU later added some insurance with a couple of RBI singles by sophomore Ciara Garcia in the third and fifth innings as the Lady Toppers cruised to victory uncontested.

Wagner said getting the first home win was significant because it gave fans a chance to see the team at its best.

“It means a lot,” she said. “We’ve been struggling at home, but we came out here today and showed our fans what Western softball is about.”

Wagner (6-2) grabbed the win, yielding just three hits in seven shutout innings.

WKU dealt the first blow again in the second gam, as a sacrifice fly from freshman Megan Johnson put the team ahead, 1-0, in the second inning.

A grand slam from freshman Kelsie Mattox and a pair of Lady Topper home runs pushed the lead to 7-0 after four innings.

Mattox said the clutch grand slam, which came with two outs on a full count, resulted from some confidence she’s found recently.

“It was a 3-2 count, so I knew she would throw a good pitch, and it was,” she said. “Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty good so I wasn’t nervous or anything.”

SIUE attempted a comeback in the sixth inning with a two-run home run, but failed to score again in the seventh after loading the bases as WKU swept the doubleheader.

Mallorie Sulaski (5-2) earned the win in the second game, giving up just two hits in four scoreless innings. The effort pins her ERA at 1.00 for the season.

WKU’s next game comes against Tennessee Tech Thursday in Cookeville, Tenn., at 12 p.m.