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WKU softball goes 4-1 in Hilltopper Classic

Allie Schallert
WKU senior pitcher Katie Gardner (5) throws a pitch during the game against the University of Akron at the WKU Softball Complex on March 5, 2023. Gardner pitched the entire game with 9 total strikeouts by the end of the game. WKU won 5-0.

WKU Softball welcomed fans back to the Hill with a thrilling weekend of play Feb. 23-25, hosting the Hilltopper Classic and going 4-1 in the competition 

The Hilltoppers now have a 10-4-1 season record.

WKU v. Detroit Mercy

WKU shut out the Detroit Mercy Titans 8-0 in the home opener and first matchup of the weekend on Feb. 23. The competition came to an early end after the fifth inning.

Fifth year infielder Taylor Sanders and freshman infielder Morgan Sharper were first to put the Hilltoppers on the board in the first inning. As Sanders stole second, Sharpe stole home.

In the fourth, fifth year TJ Webster scored on a throwing error. Later in the inning, a homer from redshirt junior catcher and utility player Cheyanne Sales drove Sanders and senior utility player Kelsey Schmidt in to make the score 5-0.

WKU continued the excitement in the fifth inning as a single from Webster drove sophomore outfielder Addy Edgmon home. Webster scored again in the inning on another Titans throwing error and Weber also scored on the same play.

Freshman pitcher Rylan Smith pitched four of the five innings and threw five strikeouts in the matchup.

WKU v. Saint Louis

Following their shortened play on Friday, WKU went to eight innings with St. Louis University on Friday, winning 6-5. 

WKU was first to score when Sharpe scored as Sanders fouled out in the first inning. 

Schmidt homered in the third and fourth innings. Edgmon scored on Schmidt’s fourth-inning homer to put WKU up 4-0.

Despite the strong start, WKU fell into a scoring drought as St. Louis tied the game in the sixth, ultimately pushing the teams to an extra inning.

Although St. Louis took the initial lead in the eighth, a walk from fifth year outfielder Brylee Hage drove Webster in for another run.

Later, a single from Sharpe drove Webster in for WKU’s victorious sixth run.

WKU v. Eastern Illinois

WKU took down Eastern Illinois on Saturday with a whopping 12-1 performance, ending the game in five innings once again.

Kicking off scoring, Sanders grounded out, but drove Hage into home. 

In the second, Hage advanced to third on a double, which drove Webster and Weber in for two more runs. Afterwards, Sanders homered, driving in Hage for a second time.

WKU had a strong showing in the third, putting seven runs on the board. 

Smith pitched four innings. She allowed three hits, but threw three strikeouts.

WKU v. Detroit Mercy

The Lady Toppers met the Titans again on Saturday, closing the matchup in the fifth once again, defeating the Titans 13-1.

With bases loaded in the second, a homer from Webster drove Weber, Edgmon and Scales home for a grand slam.

The third inning brought eight runs for the Hilltoppers. Edgmon, Schmidt, Hage, Sharpe and Sanders all drove in runners throughout the inning to put WKU up 12-1.

In the fourth inning, Weber reached on a fielding error and drove junior Catcher and infielder Randi Drinnon in for the Hilltoppers final run of the game.

Redshirt junior pitcher Kelsie Houchens pitched three innings with two hits and three strikeouts. Freshman pitcher and utility player Annie White pitched two innings with two hits and two strikeouts.

WKU v. Saint Louis

The Lady Toppers met Saint Louis for the second and last time of the tournament on Sunday, bringing WKU’s lone loss of the weekend, 10-7. 

Saint Louis struck first as they scored four runs in the first inning. WKU responded with two runs with a Sanders homer to drive Sharpe in on the same play.

In the third, Drinnon singled up the middle to drive Campbell and Sharpe in for two more runs, but WKU still trailed by three.

In the fourth, a pop up from Sharpe allowed Webster to advance home. After a scoreless fifth inning, Scales walked which drove Schmidt in to score in the sixth. Additionally, Drinnon hit one to center field, driving Hage in for a run.

However, WKU was unable to keep up with Saint Louis’s efforts and fell in the seventh inning.

Smith pitched 5.1 innings and allowed five hits and three runs with six strikeouts.

WKU Softball will continue their season as they face the University of Louisville in Louisville on Feb. 27 at 4p.m. CST.

Sports reporter Molly St. Clair can be reached at [email protected].

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