WKU sweeps season series with UTEP after run-rule win

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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 (21-4, 5-1 C-USA) dominated the UTEP Miners (10-17, 1-5 C-USA) in a five-inning game 9-0 in a run-rule win, sweeping the three-game season series.   

Fifth-year senior Shelby Nunn started the final game of the series for the Hilltoppers, pitching four shutout innings, allowing only two hits.  

Miner junior Isabella Kelly threw 3.1 innings, allowing four runs on five hits. Junior Zaylie Calderon relieved Kelly in the fourth inning, allowing five runs on five hits before forcing an out. Sophomore Mackenzee Collins relieved Calderon to finish the fourth inning.   

Senior Taylor Davis went 3-for-3 for the second consecutive game for WKU. Senior Jordan Ridge went 1-for-3, batting three runs while Fifth-year senior Bailey Curry and junior Taylor Sanders both hit two-run home runs. 

The Miners started off slow for the third consecutive game, only recording one hit and base runner through the first three innings of play. WKU got the bats going early with a single by Davis followed by an RBI double from junior Brylee Hage. Hage scored later in the inning on an error to give the Hilltoppers a 2-0 lead after the first inning. 

After a lackluster second inning, the Hilltopper bats were in full effect in the bottom of the third. WKU loaded the bases with three consecutive singles. Ridge cleared the bases with a three-run RBI double. Curry followed with a two-run home run to give WKU a 7-0 lead after three innings. 

Freshman Ajia Richard singled to put the first runner on base for UTEP in two innings in the top of the fourth, but to no avail. The sizzling Hilltopper bats continued into the bottom of the frame. Davis singled to lead off before Sanders bombed a two-run homer, giving WKU a 9-0 lead. 

Junior Katie Gardner came into pitch in the fifth frame for WKU, sealing the run-rule victory with a three up, three down innings. 

Up next, WKU will take on the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks at 6 p.m. Monday in the WKU Softball Complex. 

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