WKU softball pushes winning streak to seven with two victories Friday

Nick Bratcher

A “relaxed” Lady Topper softball squad kept its win streak alive in the first day of action at the Buzz Classic in Woodstock, Ga.

WKU (10-4) defeated a winless Rhode Island, 11-3, in five innings and won its second game against the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 7-1.

The Lady Toppers have now won seven games in a row since losing twice to Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 23.

Head Coach Tyra Perry said the young team’s newly-found poise is starting to pay serious dividends in the field.

“I thought we stuck with the game plan and played relaxed and just played ball,” she said. “We played good defense, pitched well and hit the ball well.”

How important is that calmness to the Lady Toppers?

Perry said it’s been the biggest key to WKU’s recent success.

“Right now staying relaxed is the biggest factor,” she said. “I really believe staying relaxed is helping us win games and has helped us through tough situations in games.

“It’s definitely a big factor in our success right now.”

WKU started strong in its first game against Rhode Island by scoring two runs in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by junior Amanda Walden and an RBI single by sophomore Mallorie Sulaski. The Lady Toppers held the lead for the next four innings to earn the victory.

Sluggish starts plagued the Lady Toppers at the start of the season.

UNC-Greensboro took the lead in the first inning in WKU’s second game. But a three-run third inning — featuring RBIs from three different Lady Toppers — put the team ahead for the win.

Sulaski (4-1) had a standout day on the mound, earning the win against Rhode Island in the Lady Toppers’ morning game. She yielded just one hit in four innings of work.

Sulaski produced at the plate as well, tallying five hits in seven at-bats with four runs and two RBIs for the day.

Perry said Sulaski’s influence runs deeper than even the numbers suggest.

“What she brings to the table is that she’s very mentally tough and stays calm,” she said. “That really plays into the relaxed mode that we’re in. She’s a prime example of a player with confidence that plays the game and doesn’t think about it too much.”

Sophomore pitcher Kim Wagner (4-2) grabbed the win for WKU in the second game. She gave up one run on four hits in six innings.

Perry said she hoped to see the calmness continue throughout the weekend.

The Lady Toppers play Georgia State at 10 a.m. Saturday, then meet Miami (Ohio) at noon.

“When we’re relaxed we let the game come to us, but when we’re not we try to press and make things happen,” she said. “We’re a lot better when we let things come and then react to them.”