Softball splits games again on second day of Gaucho Classic

Nick Bratcher

Even though Saturday was just their second day of action, the Lady Toppers have already begun to display some trends.

Like it did Friday, WKU (2-2) struggled early on the second day of the Gaucho Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif., suffering a 1-0 loss to UC Santa Barbara Saturday afternoon.

But also like they did Friday, the Lady Toppers rebounded from the tight loss with a 7-1 win over Seattle University.

Sophomore pitcher Mallorie Sulaski allowed just one run against UCSB, a home run by Kelly McDonald in the second inning, and surrendered nine hits for the loss.

“Mallorie did a great job,” Head Coach Tyra Perry said. “Sure, there’s one pitch she’d like to have back, but it was a good pitch. The kid just got her hands on it.”

The Lady Toppers threatened in the third inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but freshman outfielder Tiffany Gooch was thrown out at home on a base-running error.

Perry blamed a lack of clutch hitting for WKU’s inability to produce behind Sulaski’s effort.

“We just left a lot of base runners,” Perry said. “We’re getting hits, but we just have to get clutch hits because we’re making solid contact in those situations, but just not getting one through.”

Sophomore Ciara Garcia paced the offense in the loss, getting two hits in two at-bats and drawing two walks.

The Lady Toppers’ offense started rolling in their second game against Seattle, scoring seven runs on 14 hits.

Perry said the difference was in the learning process for her inexperienced team.

“We’re young,” she said. “We teach and work on it, and in the second game, we get better results because we’re more focused and a lot more aggressive at the plate.”

Junior pitcher Dana Nathanson earned the win for WKU on the mound against Seattle, allowing no earned runs and just two hits in five innings of work.

The Lady Toppers conclude their play in the Gaucho Classic at 11 a.m. Sunday, when they face Wichita State.

Perry said the team will find its way soon, gaining experience each day.

“We have a hard-working group that wants success, so we’re going to keep working and become a better team each game,” she said.