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WKU softball’s season ends in walk off fashion

Allie Schallert
The WKU softball team gathers together before the start of the game against the University of Akron at the WKU Softball Complex on March 5, 2023. WKU won 5-0.

WKU softball’s season came to a heartbreaking close in the Conference-USA championship game Saturday, as top-seeded Liberty walked off the Hilltoppers in extra innings, denying WKU of a NCAA tournament berth. 

The loss marks the second time in the last three years the Hilltoppers have fallen in the C-USA championship game. WKU’s 9-0 loss in the 2022 conference title bout followed the Hilltoppers last C-USA championship victory in 2021. 

Fifth year pitcher Katie Gardner pitched up to her conference pitcher of the year title through four, leaving liberty scoreless through her first 12 outs. However, a shaky fifth and sixth inning saw Gardner allow four hits and three runs that took the game to extras. 

WKU led for most of the contest, taking a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth. The Flames caught fire in the sixth, however, as a pair of RBI singles knotted the contest, 3-3. 

Following five scoreless frames, Liberty scored the deciding run on a walk off double to left center in the ninth inning. 

WKU had five players named to the C-USA all-tournament team following the loss, including Gardner, fifth year infielders Taylor Sanders, Sophie Weber and TJ Webster along with freshman utility and pitcher Annie White.


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