Feb. 7, 2014
FORT MYERS, Fla.-- First-year head coach Amy Tudor opened her time at the helm in the best way possible, as the Western Kentucky University softball team (2-0) notched a pair of wins in the opening day of the 2014 season.
WKU started the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational with a 9-1 win over Liberty (0-2) before defeating Ole Miss (0-1) by a score of 3-2 on Friday.
Senior Emily Rousseau (2-0) earned both wins, as in her 11 innings in the circle, she allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out eight. Fellow classmate Olivia Watkins combined for a 4-for-7 effort at the plate while junior Jacqueline McGill notched three hits. Both players along with junior Preslie Cruce had a pair of runs each.
The tournament continues on Saturday, Feb. 8 with Georgetown at 11:15 a.m. CT while the Lady Toppers take on host Florida Gulf Coast at 3:45 p.m. CT. Sunday's final game is to be determined with seeding based on the previous results.
GAME ONE--WKU 9, Liberty 1 (6 inn.)
WKU opened 2014 with a dominating 9-1 win over Liberty in six innings, giving Tudor her first win on The Hill.
At the plate, WKU was led by Sun Belt Conference Preseason Player of the Year Watkins, as she went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Senior Amanda Thomas tallied three RBI while Cruce added two RBI. Rousseau took the win after a shutout in her four innings of work.
Rousseau gave up two hits while striking out four. Junior Janna Scheff finished the game, allowing one run on two hits with a pair of strikeouts.
WKU added a run to the scoreboard in the first after Watkins opened with a triple and came home on a Liberty error. A seven-run fourth inning put the Lady Toppers in the driver's seat, as the team capitalized on five hits and three miscues from the Flames. During the inning, freshman India Steward powered a triple before scoring on a throwing error while Thomas, WKU's all-time home run leader, added another to her career.
Liberty started the fifth with a single and double before a fielder's choice allowed the lone run. However, with freshman Amber Williams on third after coming in as a pinch runner to steal second, McGill notched the RBI single to seal the win in the bottom sixth.
GAME TWO--WKU 3, Ole Miss 2
The Lady Toppers trailed for a majority of the game against the Rebels, but timely long-ball hits late in the contest propelled WKU past Ole Miss, 3-2.
Ole Miss jumped out of the gates for a quick 1-0 lead in the first. After being held scoreless for the first four innings, freshman Andie Martin came up in the fifth to hit her first collegiate home run to score McGill and give the Lady Toppers a 2-1 advantage.
The Rebels quickly responded with a RBI single to knot the game; however, senior Kelsie Mattox powered a triple to right center and sealed the winning run by Cruce.
Rousseau went the distance for WKU, allowing six hits and two walks while sitting down four batters. Offensively, Watkins and McGill had two hits each.
For more information on WKU softball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the team on Twitter via @WKUSoftball.
How to follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Softball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUSoftball.