Lady Toppers lose two at Louisville Classic

Nick Bratcher

The Lady Toppers entered the weekend still searching for their first win against a team with a winning record.

WKU (13-7) must continue that hunt after losing to No. 6 Michigan, 7-1, and Louisville, 3-2, on Saturday at the Louisville Classic.

The Lady Toppers play both teams again Sunday in Louisville.

Head Coach Tyra Perry said she is hoping the tough competition will make the team better.

“We wanted to play in this tournament for the challenge,” she said. “We knew we would be facing two very good programs.”

Michigan struck quickly in the Lady Toppers’ first game, scoring all seven of their runs in the first two innings.

WKU showed a spark of life in the sixth with an RBI groundout from junior Amanda Walden, but it failed to score in the seventh.

Sophomore pitcher Kim Wagner received the loss for the Lady Toppers for her six innings of work, yielding five earned runs on eight hits.

Perry said the team just didn’t get the start it needed.

“We came out a little scared and timid and then got it together in the third inning and played a good game from that inning on,” she said. “We have to be able to start from the beginning playing ball.”

Louisville grabbed an early lead in WKU’s second game with an RBI by Hannah Kiyohara in the second inning, but the Lady Toppers tied the game in the fourth inning with an RBI single from freshman Amanda Thomas.

WKU took the lead in the fifth inning when freshman Kelsie Mattox was hit by a pitch that plated freshman Olivia Watkins.

The Lady Toppers couldn’t hold on to that lead though, giving up two runs in the sixth inning for the loss.

Sophomore Mallorie Sulaski (5-2) took the loss for WKU, giving up two runs on six hits in five innings pitched.

Perry said the team started better in the second game but failed to finish strong.

“We played a good beginning, but we have to be able to finish the game,” she said. “Putting seven innings together, especially when you are playing teams that are in the top 25, is very important.”

The Lady Toppers will be in action again Sunday against Michigan at 10 a.m., followed by Louisville at 2 p.m.