Lady Toppers drop doubleheader at Lipscomb

Nick Bratcher

The Lady Toppers continued their struggle with road games Tuesday in a doubleheader at Lipscomb.

WKU (18-15, 1-5 Sun Belt) narrowly dropped the first game, 3-2, in eight innings and lost the second game, 9-5.

The Lady Toppers have fared well overall away from the WKU Softball Complex this season with a record of 13-10 in all games off campus, possessing a particularly dynamic record of 11-1 in neutral-site games.

But the team’s road success slips from there, going 2-9 when playing at an opponent’s own field.

Head Coach Tyra Perry downplayed the importance of the field site Tuesday, offering pitching as the root of WKU’s current skid. The Lady Toppers have lost seven of their last 10 games.

“Right now the bottom line — whether we’re home, away or neutral — is that we have one pitcher doing well and the other three struggling,” she said. “When they’re all on we have a chance to win no matter where we are.”

Errors and timely hitting told the tale for the Lady Toppers in both games.

WKU out-hit Lipscomb 4-3 in its first game but suffered two costly errors in the third inning that led to two unearned runs.

The Lady Toppers tied the game in the seventh on a two-run single from sophomore Mallorie Sulaski.

WKU threatened to take the lead in the eighth inning with sophomore Karavin Dew on third base with just one out, but she was tagged out at the plate on a fielder’s choice by freshman Kelsie Mattox to end the team’s chances.

An RBI single from Lipscomb right fielder Caroline Mason sealed the loss.

Sulaski (8-6) took the loss for WKU, surrendering no earned runs on three hits in 7 and 1/3 innings of work.

“We did well and had a chance to beat a very good team but just had some mental errors,” Perry said. “We’ll have to overcome those as a young team.”

WKU out-hit Lipscomb again in the second game, 11-8, but left 12 runners on base.

Mattox kicked the game off with a home run in the first inning, but Lipscomb tied the game in the bottom of the inning.

Lipscomb then scored three runs in the second inning and padded their lead with four more in the sixth to clinch the win despite a seventh-inning surge by the Lady Toppers.

Brittanie Albright took the loss in WKU’s second game, pitching 1 and 1/3 innings and surrendering four runs on two hits.