Lady Tops bounce back by beating Belmont

The Lady Topper softball team huddles at the pitcher’s mound during the first game of its successful doubleheader against Belmont on Tuesday in Bowling Green.

Nick Bratcher

WKU dug its heels in Tuesday to make a stand at the WKU Softball Complex.

The Lady Toppers (17-11, 0-3 Sun Belt) won their first game in a doubleheader against Belmont, 3-1, and then increased the margin of victory in their second game, winning 9-1.

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Since the program’s inception in 2000, WKU has remained undefeated against Belmont with an overall record of 24-0.

Head Coach Tyra Perry said extending the streak provided a little extra incentive.

“You always want to keep a win streak like that going,” she said.

The two wins righted the ship for WKU after being outscored 36-4 in three losses last weekend to open Sun Belt Conference play at South Alabama.

Perry said the Belmont wins resulted from the team making an effort to do “mental work” —  something that it lacked last weekend.

“We are trying to get our heads screwed back on straight,” she said. “They know we didn’t quite get those things done this past weekend, and they are willing to put in the work to turn things around.”

Senior catcher Karavin Dew said a team discussion has put the Lady Toppers back on track.

“(Monday) we talked about it and really worked out what we needed to,” she said. “How we played this weekend really wasn’t us. We are back now.”

WKU will continue Sun Belt play this weekend against Florida Atlantic with a home doubleheader Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. and a game on Sunday at noon at the WKU Softball Complex.

Junior third basemen Amanda Walden said the young team is eager to glean wisdom from its few upperclassmen and that it’s helping the team to look forward and get better.

“The younger girls listen well,” she said. “They know we have experience, and they know that we know what we are talking about. They let go of things easily.

“Being a leader is easy on this team, because they want to follow us and want to do what works.”

Perry said she was pleased to see the team learn from within.

 “Right now, we are playing ourselves a bit, but it was good to see ourselves figure some things out and be a little more aggressive,” she said.

Walden called last weekend’s losses a “fluke” and said Tuesday’s victories have put those losses in the rear-view mirror.

“I think our team is finally coming back,” she said. “We are finally getting the hits, and I think we will win three big games this weekend.”

Perry said she’s not worried about the poor start and that the team could easily re-gain ground this weekend.

“Our conference is in a dog fight right now,” she said. “There are a lot of people winning one weekend and losing one weekend.

 “If we play Western Kentucky softball, then we will be okay.”

Reporter Emily Patton contributed to this story.