Nunn pitches career-high in strikeouts in shutout win over UTEP

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Marshall Canupp

WKU Softball’s 5th year pitcher Shelby Nunn (10) makes a pitch to home plate during their matchup with the Bellarmine University Softball team on Feb. 18 at the WKU Softball Complex.

Wyatt Sparkman, Sports Editor

WKU Softball (19-4, 3-1 C-USA) shutout the UTEP Miners (10-15, 1-3 C-USA) 6-0 in its first home C-USA game of the season Friday afternoon. This is the first of a three-game series between the teams. 

Fifth-year senior Shelby Nunn started in the circle for WKU in game one. She threw a complete-game shutout while striking out a career-high 12 batters. 

Freshman Annika Litterio started on Friday for UTEP.  She tossed 1.1 innings, allowing four runs on two hits while walking five batters. Junior Zaylie Calderon relieved her in the second inning, going 4.2 innings. Calderon allowed two runs on four hits. 

WKU freshman Abby Newman went 1-for-3 at the plate, knocking in two runs on the day.  

Calderon singled with one-out for the first hit of the game in the top of the first inning but was left stranded with a Nunn strikeout later in the frame. WKU loaded the bases with an error, a single and a walk. The Hilltoppers took an early 2-0 lead with two bases loaded walks. 

The Miners put a runner on base but didn’t bat them in. WKU went down in order to end the second inning.

Nunn put UTEP down in order to start the third inning. Junior Brylee Hage doubled to lead off the bottom of the third. WKU loaded the bases with two outs before Newman knocked in two runs on a single to extend the WKU lead to 4-0.

Nunn sat the Miners down in order again before the Hilltoppers added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. A nit by pitch and a walk put runners on first and second base before fifth-year senior Bailey Curry bunted to bring across one run. After another walk loaded the bases, fifth-year senior Maddie Bowlds knocked in the second run on a sacrifice fly. 

UTEP went three up, three down for the third consecutive inning in the top of the fifth. Freshman Randi Drinnon led off the bottom of the fifth with a double, but the Hilltoppers left her stranded to end the inning.  

The Miners put a runner on base for the first time in three innings with a two-out single from freshman Ajia Richard. Richard was left stranded with a ground out in the next at bat. WKU went three up, three down to end the sixth inning.

Nunn allowed a single in the top of the seventh but nothing else to secure the win for the Hilltoppers. 

Up next, WKU will look to take the series against UTEP at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 19..   

Sports Editor Wyatt Sparkman can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @wyattsparkman3.