WKU splits doubleheader in second day of Ole Miss Classic


Marshall Canupp

WKU Softball’s utility senior Jordan Riggs (9), throws to first base during thier matchup with the Bellarmine University Softball team at the WKU Softball Field on Feb. 18.

Izzy Lanuza, Sports Reporter

WKU Softball (15-3) played another doubleheader on the second day of the Ole Miss Classic on Saturday. The Hilltoppers started off the day beating Samford 8-3 before getting run-ruled by Ole Miss in the second game 10-2. 


Fifth-year senior Shelby Nunn started the game for the Hilltoppers.  She threw six innings allowing one run on four hits. Redshirt freshman Kelsie Houchens relieved Nunn in the seventh, allowing two runs in her only inning of work. 

Samford freshman McKenzie Newcomb pitched five innings allowing five runs on hits. Freshman Jordyn Partain relieved Newcomb in the sixth, giving up two runs on two hits. 

WKU fifth-year senior Bailey Curry went 1-of-3 from the plate, hitting a home run while also scoring another run. Samford freshman Sarah Squillace went 1-for-3 at the plate, driving in two runs on her lone hit of the game. 

The game started with both teams getting a runner in scoring position but not converting it into runs. Nunn forced a three up, and three down before the Hilltoppers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second after a lead off home run by Curry. 

Fifth-year senior Maddie Bowlds walked and junior Brylee Hage doubled, but Newcomb stranded them to end the inning. Nunn walked a batter in the top of third but nothing came of it. 

WKU took control of the game in the bottom of the third. The Hilltoppers loaded the bases with two walks and a single. Another Newcomb walk added to the WKU lead before the Hilltoppers cleared the bases on a throwing error, giving the Hilltoppers a 5-0 lead. 

Samford put a runner on first base in the top of the fourth, but it didn’t go anywhere. WKU senior Taylor Davis singled in the bottom of the fourth but a pop up by Sanders left her stranded. 

Bulldog freshman McKayla Cothran singled with one out in the top of the fifth, but she was left stranded after Nunn retired the next two batters. WKU went down in order to end the fifth frame.

Samford tried to mount a comeback in the top of the sixth with graduate Mary Katherine Tedder hitting a home run, but the Hilltoppers bounced back in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three more runs. Junior TJ Webster and Sanders batted in a run before a fielder’s choice gave WKU an 8-1 lead. 

In the top of the seventh, Houchens came in for Nunn and gave up a lead-off double and a walk to her first two batters. A two-out RBI double from Squillace cut the Hilltopper lead to 8-3. Houchens ended the game with a ground out to get WKU back in the win column.  

Ole Miss 

Junior Katie Gardner started for WKU, pitching 4.1 innings while allowing six runs on six hits. Freshman Savannah Fierke relieved in the fifth, allowing three runs on three hits before Houchens relieved her one out later. Houchens finished the game allowing a walk-off run-rule win for Ole Miss. 

Junior Brooke Vestal started in the circle for the Rebels, tossing four innings and giving up two runs on seven hits. Freshman Catelyn Riley relieved her in the fifth and finished the game for Ole Miss. She allowed no runs and no hits in her two innings of work. 

WKU freshman Abby Newman went 1-for-2 at the plate, batting one run. Junior Paige Smith went 3-for-4 with three RBIs for Ole Miss, including a walk-off double in the bottom of the sixth. 

WKU started off the game at the plate and Webster singled and stole second base, but she was left stranded in the top of the first frame.  Senior Bre Roper walked in the bottom of the first after a pop up and ground out.

The second inning started off slow with Hilltopper Hage hitting a single before she was left stranded. Ole Miss led off the bottom of the second with senior Abby Lantham hitting a home run. 

Juniors Smith and Nyomi Jones provide the next runs for the Rebels.  Jones hit a two-out, RBI triple to score Smith followed by an RBi single from senior Tate Whitley to give Ole Miss a 3-0 advantage. 

The Hilltoppers put Webster and Newman on first and second in the top of the third with one out, but they were once again left stranded. Ole Miss extended its lead in the bottom of the third. 

Gardner allowed two on base with a walk and a single before Smith batted one in on a double. Gardner gave up another run on a wild pitch before Smith scored on a double from freshman Angelina DeLeon. DeLeon scored later in the inning a Roper single to give Ole Miss a 7-0 lead after three innings of play.

WKU tried to mount a  comeback in the top of the fourth. The Hilltoppers loaded the bases before Newman singled to score the first run of the game for WKU. A fielder’s choice gave WKU’s its second run of the game to cut the lead to 7-2. Ole Miss went down in order to end the fourth inning.

The Hilltoppers loaded the bases on a single, a hit by pitch and a walk to lead off the top of the fifth. Riley kept WKU at bay with three consecutive outs to leave the bases loaded. The Rebels went three up, three down again to end the fifth inning.

WKU went down in order to start the sixth. Whitley singled before Roper plated her on an RBI double. A walk and a wild pitch with two outs put Ole Miss runners on second and third base. Smith ended the game on a walk-off RBI double to run-rule the Hilltoppers 10-2. 

Up next, WKU will wrap up the Ole Miss Classic with a 10 a.m. game against Saint Louis on Sunday. 

Sports Reporter Izzy Lanuza can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @izzylanuza.