BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The WKU softball team split its doubleheader with Troy at the WKU Softball Field Friday. The Trojans took game one 9-1, with the Lady Toppers winning the nightcap 8-0 in five innings. Sophomore pitcher Emily Rousseau allowed one hit and struck out nine batters in the game two win as Karavin Dew's three-run home run highlighted a five-run fourth inning.
WKU (22-15-1, 5-5-1 Sun Belt) got on the board first in game two, scoring one run in the bottom of the second inning. Katrina Metoyer led off the inning with a triple down the right field line. Mallorie Sulaski brought in Metoyer with a sacrifice fly to center field. Rousseau was locked in early in the second game, retiring the first 12 batters she faced with seven strikeouts. The Lady Toppers' bats then came alive in the fourth. Sulaski led off with a double down the left field line. She then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Laura Smith. Sulaski scored on a wild pitch by Troy's (23-13, 5-7) Jaycee Affeldt, putting the score at 2-0. With the bases clear and one out, Preslie Cruce doubled to center field. Olivia Watkins then drew a walk, bringing on a pitching change for Troy as Sarah Thomas entered the game. After a strikeout, Kelsie Mattox knocked a base hit up the middle to bring in Cruce and make the score 3-0.
With two on and two out, Dew launched an Affeldt offering into the night's sky and over the left center field fence, putting the Lady Toppers ahead 6-0. Thomas then walked Amanda Thomas and Metoyer, but got Sulaski to line out to shortstop Bailey Blake to end the inning. All told, WKU scored five runs on four hits in the fourth inning. Rousseau gave up her lone hit of the night in the top of the fifth. Nikki Hollett doubled to right field to break up what was, at the time, a perfect game for the sophomore hurler. Rousseau retired the first 13 batters faced, and after allowing the double, forced a flyout and strikeout to end the inning.
The Lady Toppers put game two away in the bottom of the fifth. Cruce made the score 7-0 with her third home run of the season, a solo shot to left field. Watkins then drew her second walk of the game and stole second. After a ground out, Mattox hit a double to center field, bringing in Watkins for WKU's eighth run and a shortened, five-inning win. Mattox and Cruce each had three hits in game two, combining for three RBI. Cruce and Watkins each scored two runs. Rousseau earned her 10th win of the season with her effort in game two.
WKU led game one 1-0 through the first inning as Mattox hit her 10th home run of the season right off the left field foul pole. That was the Lady Toppers' only hit in the game until the fifth as Troy's starting pitcher Ashley Rainey retired 13 batters in a row. The Trojans took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second as Hollett led off the inning with a home run to center field. With the bases loaded and two out, Michelle Hewett singled to left for Troy's second run. Troy added another run in the fifth as Hayden Gann knocked a solo home run over the fence in left center. WKU briefly ended Rainey's dominance in the bottom of the fifth. Smith reached by getting hit by a pitch with two out. Cruce then singled, but with two on and two out Amanda Walden popped out to catcher Hannah Renn to end the inning.
Troy continued to put runs on the board in the sixth as Renn hit a two-run homer to center field, making the score 6-1. The Trojans scored three more in the seventh for the 9-1 win. Gann and Sarah Shields each went 3-for-4 at the plate in game one, with Shields driving in three runs. Rainey earned the complete game win, striking out three while allowing four hits. Sulaski started game one in the circle for WKU, allowing six runs in six innings.
The Lady Toppers and Trojans conclude their weekend series with a single game at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the WKU Softball Field.