Charlotte evens series with WKU, setting up rubber match in game three


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.

Lynda Eernisse, Softball Reporter

WKU Softball (17-4, 1-1 C-USA) continued its series against No. 24 Charlotte 49ers (19-5, 1-1 C-USA) on Saturday afternoon. Charlotte evened the three-game series with a 4-2 win against WKU. 

Junior Katie Gardner started in the circle for WKU, pitching a complete six inning performance. She allowed four runs on five hits with six strikeouts. The starting pitcher for the 49ers was junior Madelyn Wright. She pitched a complete seven inning, allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts.

Senior Taylor Davis went 1-for-3 at the plate, batting in the only two runs for the Hilltoppers. 49ers graduate Kourtney Gremillion went 3-for-3 at the plate with one RBI. 

WKU didn’t get much going in the top of the first, leaving a runner stranded with no hits. Charlotte then took an early lead in the bottom of the first. Gardner walked her first batter before senior Bailey Vannoy reached on a fielder’s choice. Later in the inning, 49er Gremillion hit an RBI double to score Vannoy. 

Both teams went down in order in the second inning. Freshman Abby Newman walked to lead off the third, but was left on base. Sophomore Mekayla Frazier doubled to lead off the bottom before advancing to third base on a passed ball. Frazier scored on a sacrifice fly by graduate Stacy Payton. Vannoy followed with a solo home run to extend the Charlotte lead to 3-0. 

Fifth-year senior Bailey Curry recorded the first Hilltopper hit of the game in the top of fourth, but nothing came of it. Gardner walked a batter in the bottom of the frame, but ended the inning on a strikeout. 

Sophomore Jessica Bush and junior TJ Webster singled with one out in the top of the fifth before the Hilltoppers pushed the score to a one run game. Davis hit a two-run RBI triple that cut the lead to 3-2. Davis was left stranded on third base after a strikeout and ground out. Gardner sat down the 49ers in order to end the fifth. 

Wright let up a double to junior Brylee Hage in the top of the sixth before retiring the next batter to end the frame. Gardner allowed a single to lead off the bottom of the sixth before a wild pitch and fly out advanced the runner to third base. Charlotte tacked on another run from a sacrifice fly by graduate student Amelia Wiercioch to put their lead at 4-2. 

The Hilltoppers went down in order in the top of the seventh to end game and even the three-game series at one game apiece. 

For the last game in the series, the WKU and Charlotte will play Sunday at 11 a.m CT.  

Softball Reporter Lynda Eernisse can be reached at [email protected].