BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Sophomore pitcher Emily Rousseau threw her second consecutive one-hit shutout Saturday afternoon, striking out six batters as the WKU softball team defeated Troy 2-0 on Saturday at the WKU Softball Field. The win gave the Lady Toppers the series win over the Trojans.
"It was their number one versus our number one today and we both played for each pitch," said Tyra Perry after WKU's win over Troy Saturday. "Both teams were grappling for each pitch, and it made more sense today. It's even more special that we came out on top."
Both Rousseau and Troy's (23-14, 5-8 Sun Belt) Ashley Rainey were dominant in the circle early, allowing just one hit in the first two innings. Rousseau allowed just one base runner in the first two frames, hitting Nikki Hollett with a pitch in the first. Rainey let two WKU (23-15-1, 6-5-1) runners on, both in the second inning. Katrina Metoyer had the game's first hit with an infield single with one out in the second. Mallorie Sulaski then reached on an error, giving the Lady Toppers two runners on base with one out. Rainey got out of the jam by getting Laura Smith to popout and Preslie Cruce to fly out.
After Rousseau retired the Trojans in order in the top of the third, WKU got on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Ciara Garcia knocked a one-out single up the middle. Kelsie Mattox then hit a 1-0 pitch high over the right center field fence for her 11th home run of the season, putting the Lady Toppers ahead 2-0.
"I just wanted to be patient at the plate," said Mattox. "I knew she was going to throw a good pitch. I told myself to see it deep and I did."
Rousseau continued to hold Troy without a hit through the fourth inning, with Hayden Gann reaching on a two-out error. Gann, however, was erased at second as Caitlin Ortiz hit a groundball to Amanda Thomas. Thomas had the ball roll up her left arm but right to Olivia Watkins, who was right behind her covering second base to end the inning. Troy went out in order in the fifth, with WKU's right fielder Smith throwing out Chelsea Eytel on a grounder to the outfield. For her part, Rainey matched Rousseau scoreless inning for scoreless inning. Rainey allowed one hit in her final three innings, a single to Mattox in the fifth.
Rousseau took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, having retired 16 of 17 Troy batters. Hollett, however, broke it up with a laser past Cruce at third to lead off the final frame. She would not be on base for long as Gann grounded into a 1-6-3 double play for the first two outs of the seventh. Ortiz then grounded out to Thomas at shortstop for the final out, securing the series win for WKU.
"Today was a lot like yesterday," said Rousseau. "I was real confident in what I was throwing and was confident in my teammates that they had my back. Troy put the ball in play more today, but when you have a defense behind you like ours it's so easy to pitch."
Mattox went 2-for-3 at the plate on Saturday with a home run. Rousseau's win is her 11th of the season as she did not walk a batter in the series finale. Rainey pitched six innings, striking out three while allowing no walks as well.
WKU returns to action on Wednesday, April 11 with a 5 p.m. game in Nashville against Belmont.