STARKVILLE, Miss.- The Western Kentucky University softball team opened its season with a 9-1 win over Murray State before falling 5-3 to Northwestern State on Friday at Mississippi State's Bulldog Battle.
Over the two games, senior Kellie Quarles led all hitters with four hits and four RBI while fellow classmate Katrina Metoyer posted three hits. Sophomore Jacqueline McGill, senior Mallorie Sulaski and junior Kelsie Mattox each had two RBI. As a team, WKU notched 17 hits while hitting .321.
WKU 9, Murray State 1
The Lady Toppers opened the day and season with a 9-1 win in six innings against Murray State, using 13 hits, including four doubles.
Junior Emily Rousseau earned the win after going all six innings with four hits and five strikeouts. Murray State's Shelby Kosmecki took the loss after giving up six hits and two runs in 3.1 innings of work.
Quarles led the Lady Toppers with four hits and four RBI while junior Olivia Watkins and Metoyer each had two hits.
Carrying a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning after RBI doubles from Sulaski and Quarles, WKU closed the game in a single inning after notching seven runs on six hits. Quarles and Watkins were the first on the bases after each hit a single. Mattox got the pair both home with a double off the outfield wall to make it 4-1 before senior Ciara Garcia and McGill hit RBI singles. Quarles closed out the game after a three-RBI double.
Northwestern State 5, WKU 3
Northwestern State had a late-inning comeback in the latter game, as WKU fell 5-3 to the Lady Demons.
Sophomore Janna Scheff gave up 11 hits and all five runs with four strikeouts in the loss. NSU's Brooke Boening earned the win, as she had only one hit against her in four innings.
The Lady Toppers went to work early in the first, as Cruce opened the contest with a single before scoring off of a McGill hit. McGill then made her way home after a Sulaski triple went to right field. The senior put WKU ahead 3-0 after an illegal pitch finished her trip around the bases.
NSU would add a run in each the second and third inning after posting a combined five hits to put WKU's lead at 3-2. The Lady Demons would close out the scoring after a three-run sixth inning lifted them to a 5-3 win.WKU continues play at the Bulldog Battle on Saturday, February 16 with Lipscomb at 10 a.m. followed by host Mississippi State at noon.