MONROE, La. — The WKU softball team left nine runners on base Sunday afternoon against ULM, losing 1-0 to the Warhawks at the ULM Softball Complex. The Lady Toppers left two runners on in both the sixth and seventh innings as ULM scored the lone run of the game on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning.
Both Emily Rousseau of WKU (27-18-1, 9-8-1 Sun Belt) and Haylie Wilson of ULM (21-21, 6-12) were dominant early in the circle Sunday. The Lady Toppers had a chance to score in the top of the second. With one out in the inning, Preslie Cruce was hit by a pitch from Wilson. Mallorie Sulaski followed with a bloop single just inside the left field line. However, those runners would be left on base. Katrina Metoyer hit a check-swing popup to the catcher Roxy Cassel and Amanda Walden struck out to end the inning. The Warhawks left a runner on base in both the first and second innings as each team had two hits through three innings.
ULM broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth. It started with a one-out single up the middle by Elena DiMattia. After Mackenzie Miller popped out to Cruce for the second out, Kayla Boening hit a bloop double to centerfield past a diving Metoyer to give the Warhawks runners at second and third. Rousseau then intentionally walked Miyuki Navarrete to load the bases. Katie Girardi then pinch-hit for Charlotte Pastor and drew an RBI walk to give ULM a 1-0 lead. WKU got out of the inning allowing only one run as Janel Salanoa grounded out to Olivia Watkins at second base to end the inning.
The Lady Toppers had a chance to tie the game in the top of the sixth. Karavin Dew led off with a single to centerfield. Amanda Thomas was then hit by a pitch. Laura Smith then hit a fly ball to leftfield that was caught on a diving play by DiMattia. Cruce then grounded out to Salanoa at first base, allowing the runners to get into scoring position with two out. Wilson got ULM out of the inning unscathed, getting Sulaski to ground out to end the inning.
WKU had one last chance to stay in the game in the top of the seventh. Wilson got flyouts from Metoyer and Watkins for the first two outs. Ciara Garcia then hit a liner right back at Wilson which she couldn't handle, allowing WKU's first baseman to reach base. Kelsie Mattox followed that with a walk, giving WKU runners at first and second with two out. Dew then stepped up to the plate and hit a ball that ULM third baseman Alexis Cacioppo reached up and snagged out of the air to end the game.
Both teams finished the games with five hits. Garcia and Dew each were 2-for-4 for WKU on the day. Boening had two hits for ULM. Wilson walked two and struck out just one WKU batter in earning the complete game. Rousseau had three strikeouts for the Lady Toppers to go with five hits allowed and three walks.
WKU opens its final homestand of the season on Tuesday, April 24 with a 5 p.m. game against Sun Belt rival Middle Tennessee at the WKU Softball Field.