WOODSTOCK, Ga. — The WKU softball team won a pair of one-run games Friday at the Buzz Classic in Woodstock, Ga., hosted by Georgia Tech. The Lady Toppers defeated Jacksonville State 6-5 and Georgia State 3-2 to extend their winning streak to eight games.
WKU (12-3) opened its day against Jacksonville State (2-10). It was the Gamecocks who got on the scoreboard first, as Shelby Holley hit a solo home run over the right field fence to give the Gamecocks a 1-0 win. Holley hit another solo home run off of Lady Toppers starting pitcher Kim Wagner in the top of the third, making the score 2-0. As Jacksonville State starting pitcher Sam Snow was silencing the WKU offense, the Gamecocks added another run in the fourth on a Kaycee Crow RBI sacrifice fly.
The Lady Toppers' bats came alive in the bottom of the fifth. WKU's rally started with Olivia Watkins drawing a one-out walk. She then stole second base and got to third on a wild pitch. Watkins scored on an RBI groundout by Shawna Sadler, making the score 3-1. Kelsie Mattox and Preslie Cruce then recorded back-to-back base hits. The hits led to a change in the circle for Jacksonville State as Savanna Hennings replaced Snow. Amanda Thomas stepped into the batter's box to face Hennings. Thomas came through with a three-run home run over the left center field fence to give WKU a 4-3 lead.
Emily Rousseau entered the game in the circle in the top of the seventh for the Lady Toppers, looking to preserve the win for WKU. The sophomore got the first two outs of the inning on a lineout and groundout. With the game on the line, Holley drew a two-out walk. Kristin Graham followed with a two-run home run to give the Gamecocks a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. The Lady Toppers started the bottom of the seventh with a Cruce walk. Thomas then hit into a fielder's choice with Cruce out at second base. With Tiffany Gooch on to run for Thomas, Katrina Metoyer tripled to right center field, scoring Gooch to tie the game 5-5. Laura Smith followed the game-tying triple with a walk, advancing to second on a groundout. Karavin Dew then walked to load the bases with two outs. Watkins then hit a walk-off single, scoring Metoyer and giving WKU the 6-5 win.
WKU fell behind 1-0 early to Georgia State (13-5) in its second game of the day, but took the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Mattox led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Cruce then dropped a sacrifice bunt to advance Mattox to second base. After Thomas singled, Metoyer grounded out to advance Mattox to third and Thomas to second. Amanda Walden delivered a two-RBI single through the left side of the infield to give the Lady Toppers a 2-1 lead. WKU loaded the bases after Walden's single, but could not get another run to score in the inning.
Mattox gave WKU a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth with a solo home run to left center field, her fifth of the season. Georgia State responded with a run in bottom half of the fifth. Brenna Morrissey hit an RBI-single to make the score 3-2. Rousseau shut down the Panthers from there, allowing one hit in the last two innings to give the Lady Toppers their eighth win in a row.
Watkins and Mallorie Sulaski each had two hits in the Georgia State game. Rousseau set a career-high with 10 strikeouts in the complete game win, allowing five hits and only one walk.
WKU continues play in the Buzz Classic Saturday with a 10 a.m. game against Kennesaw State and a 12 p.m. game against the hosts of the tournament, Georgia Tech.