WKU Softball upsets No. 5 Tide in front of record home crowd


Marshall Canupp

WKU Softball’s fifth year utility/catcher Bailey Curry (44) celebrates with her teammates after hitting a three-run home run during their matchup with Bellarmine University on Feb. 18 at the WKU Softball Complex.

Lynda Eernisse, Softball Reporter

For the first time in program history, No. 5 Alabama visited the WKU Softball Complex to face the Hilltoppers. The home team didn’t flinch, earning a 3-1 upset victory in front of a sold-out crowd Wednesday evening.

The matchup featured the highest crowd in attendance in the history of the WKU Softball Complex, an announced attendance of 1,512 fans. 

“We really dialed in and really focused,” head coach Amy Tudor said. “ It’s a big night for our program and our girls, but obviously we have to move on to Southern Miss.”

Pitching for WKU was fifth year veteran Shelby Nunn, who threw a complete game to deliver her team to victory. Nunn gave up one run on six hits and two walks in her stellar outing. 

“We came in completely trusting ourselves and we all have complete faith in our game,” Nunn said.

Pitching for Alabama was a joint effort from sophomore Jaala Torrence and senior Montana Fouts. Fouts threw for 5.1 innings, giving up zero runs on one hit. Torrence was in for 0.2 innings when the Hilltoppers scored three runs on three hits.  

WKU put up all of its runs in the first frame. Junior Taylor Sanders drove in junior Brylee Hage. Fifth year Maddie Bowlds then secured a walk and senior Bailey Curry smacked a bases-clearing double to put the home team up 3-0.

The Tide threatened to score in the third, putting a runner on third base. With two outs on the scoreboard, senior Ashley Prange hit a ball to center field and into Hage’s open glove to send the visitors back to the dugout scoreless.

Nunn was holding onto a no-hitter entering the fourth inning but lost it when Alabama senior Ally Shipman stepped up and hit a single. Shipman couldn’t be brought home and the Hilltoppers went three-up, three-down during their turn at the plate to close the fourth frame.

The fifth inning offered little drama, with both sides combining to leave three runners on base. The score still stood 3-0 in WKU’s favor going into the sixth.

The Tide loaded up the bases with two outs to start the sixth, but Nunn put out the fire by catching a foul ball. WKU left another runner stranded in the bottom half of the inning and the game turned to the final frame.

At the top of the seventh a ground-out from freshman Jenna Lord sent one member of the Tide home for an unearned run. It was the last bit of offense the visiting team could muster as the Tide eventually struck out, securing the 3-1 win for the Hilltoppers. 

“Today we just came out and we knew we could do it and we got it done,” Sanders said. 

Coming up later in the week, the Hilltopper crew will head to Southern Mississippi for their last regular season series on Friday, April 29 before heading to the Conference USA Tournament.  

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