ATLANTA — The WKU softball team had it's eight-game winning streak snapped Saturday, as the Lady Toppers fell to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 5-3 at Mewborn Field. WKU trailed 3-0 after three innings and tied the game 3-3 in the fourth, but were shut out in the final three innings.
Both starting pitchers, Emily Rousseau for WKU (12-4) and Hope Rush for Georgia Tech (10-8), were dominant in the first two innings Saturday. The duo allowed just one hit while striking out three. The Yellow Jackets got on the board in the bottom of the third. Rousseau got the first two batters out in the inning, but Georgia Tech's Ashley Thomas singled to keep the inning alive. Thomas singled, then advanced to third on a pair of Lady Topper errors. Kate Kuzma then hit a home run over the left centerfield fence to give the Yellow Jackets' a 2-0 lead. Georgia Tech took a 3-0 lead on an RBI-single by Karly Fullem. The Yellow Jackets had the bases loaded but Rousseau struck out Danielle Dike to end the threat.
The Lady Toppers responded in the top of the fourth. Preslie Cruce reached first by getting hit by a pitch. Amanda Thomas then reached on an error, moving Cruce to second. Katrina Metoyer then brought both Cruce and Thomas in to score on a triple to right field, making the score 3-2. Laura Smith followed that up with a double to left center, bringing in Metoyer to tie the game 3-3. That would be all the runs WKU could muster in the inning, as Ciara Garcia popped out and Amanda Walden struck out to end the frame.
Georgia Tech took back the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Alysha Rudnik led off the inning with a walk. After a Rush ground out moved Rudnik to second, Fullem hit a single to right center that scored Rudnik and gave the Yellow Jackets' a 4-3 lead. Georgia Tech had a chance to score more runs with runners at second and third with two out, but Mallorie Sulaski stepped up big and struck out Shannon Bear to keep the margin one run.
After WKU failed to score in the top of the sixth with a runner at second and one out, the Yellow Jackets added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning. Once again, Georgia Tech scored with two outs. Kuzma doubled to left center with Rudnik following that with a walk. Rush then singled up the middle, scoring Kuzma to give Georgia Tech a 5-3 lead. After Fullem walked to load the bases, Katie Johnsky grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
WKU attempted to rally in the top of the seventh. Kelsie Mattox led off the inning with a double to center field. After Cruce struck out, Thomas walked to give the Lady Toppers runners at first and second with two out. Metoyer then hit a ground ball to the third baseman Dike, who stepped on third then threw to first for the double play to end the game.
The Lady Toppers were held to three hits on the day by Rush, who struck out seven while walking four. Rousseau went three innings for WKU, striking out four while allowing six hits. Kuzma and Fullem each had two hits and two RBI for Georgia Tech.
WKU wraps up play in the Buzz Classic on Sunday with two games at Kennesaw State. The Lady Toppers will play the host Owls at 11 a.m., followed by a 1 p.m. game against Tennessee-Martin.