BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The WKU softball team played in front of its biggest crowd in history on Wednesday night, as 807 fans saw the Lady Toppers make a late rally in a 4-2 loss to Kentucky. The announced attendance figure of 807 for the RED OUT game is more than double the seating capacity of 350 at the WKU Softball Field.
"The crowd was outstanding tonight," said head coach Tyra Perry following Wednesday's game. "We appreciate all the support. It's good for softball. To have all those people here tonight is good for the sport."
"It was real intense and really exciting to see everyone here," added sophomore shortstop Amanda Thomas, who brought in WKU's two runs in the sixth inning. "It was really exciting for us."
Kentucky (13-15) got on the board first in the second inning. Alice O'Brien led off the inning by being hit by a pitch from WKU (19-11) starter Kim Wagner. Ginny Carroll followed with a two-run home run to straight-away centerfield, putting the Wildcats ahead 2-0. Kentucky tried to get another run with Emily Jolly reaching on an error and Kara Dill hitting a single to left field. Wagner regrouped and got Brittany Cervantes and Rachel Riley to flyout to end the inning.
The Lady Toppers got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the second as Katrina Metoyer reached on a bunt single. She reached second base on a sacrifice bunt by Mallorie Sulaski, but Kentucky's starting pitcher Riley struck out Laura Smith and Shawna Sadler to end the inning. The Wildcats went ahead 3-0 in the top of the fourth as Dill led off with a home run to right field. After Griffin Joiner hit a single to left field, Lauren Cumbess doubled down the right field line to score Joiner and make the score 4-0.
WKU got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Preslie Cruce hit a one-out double down the left field line. Thomas followed that with her seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot over the left field fence to make the score 4-2. That would be all the runs the Lady Toppers could muster against Riley, who retired the last five WKU batters to end the game.
"We've kind of hit a few bumps in the road lately," said Perry, as WKU dropped its fourth game in its last six. "We've been talking a lot about not giving up, it doesn't matter who's in the other dugout. We're playing against ourselves, playing our best ball at all times."
The Lady Toppers open up a stretch of six games in a row on the road Thursday with a 3 p.m. game at Eastern Kentucky.