BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The WKU softball team scored 16 runs on 25 hits in a doubleheader sweep of the Samford Bulldogs at Samford Bulldog Field. The Lady Toppers had a season-high 15 hits and tied a season-high with 11 runs in an 11-1 win in six innings in game one, then won the nightcap 5-1.
WKU (21-12) had a chance to crack the scoreboard in the top of the second inning in game one. Laura Smith and Shawna Sadler hit back-to-back singles with two out. With runners at second and third, Samford (8-25) starting pitcher Misha Aldridge struck out Olivia Watkins to end the threat. The Lady Toppers would get two runs across in the top of the third. Ciara Garcia led off the inning with a single, reaching third on the play on an error by rightfielder Shelby Scott. Kelsie Mattox brought Garcia in to score on a high chopper over the head of third baseman Tessa Frates. Mattox then stole second and got to third on an infield single by Preslie Cruce. Amanda Thomas followed that with a flyball to centerfield, deep enough to score Mattox and put the Lady Toppers up 2-0.
Mallorie Sulaski did her part keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard. The junior pitcher held Samford to one hit in the first four innings. WKU added two more runs in the top of the fifth. Cruce led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. After a Thomas flyout, Katrina Metoyer reached on a bunt single to give the Lady Toppers runners at first and second. Sulaski flew out for the second out of the inning. With two outs, Smith hit a double to centerfield to score both runners, putting WKU ahead 4-0.
The Lady Toppers then put game one away in the top of the sixth, scoring a season-high seven runs in the frame. Cruce had an RBI hit by pitch as Metoyer and Smith each had RBI singles. Sulaski helped her own cause with a two-RBI single. WKU had five hits in the inning as it took an 11-0 lead. Samford added one run in the bottom of the sixth, but it wasn't enough as the Lady Toppers won 11-1 by the run rule. Garcia and Smith each had three hits in game one, with Smith adding three RBI. Sulaski struck out four in six innings for the win.
In game two, Samford struck first as first baseman Alex Adams led off the second inning with a home run over the left centerfield fence off of WKU starter Emily Rousseau, putting the Bulldogs ahead 1-0. Garcia tied the game in the top of the third with her first home run of the season, a solo shot to centerfield. With Rousseau posting zeroes on the scoreboard, WKU took the lead in the top of the fifth. Karavin Dew was hit by a pitch with one out, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Watkins. With two outs in the inning, Samford brought in Nicole Bobrowski to face Garcia. Garcia slammed the first pitch over the left centerfield fence for her second home run of the game, putting the Lady Toppers up 3-1.
Rousseau slammed the door on Samford from there. The sophomore allowed one walk over the last four innings, striking out eight batters for the game. WKU added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning. Dew hit an RBI-double to left center that scored the lead-off batter Smith. Garcia had an RBI single that scored Watkins, her fourth RBI of the game. Rousseau then took Samford out in order in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
Garcia went 3-for-4 in the nightcap with four RBI. Sulaski and Dew each added two hits. Rousseau allowed just four hits for the complete game win.
WKU returns to Sun Belt play this weekend at North Texas. The Lady Toppers and Mean Green will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. and a single game on Sunday at 12 p.m.