Thomas' Grand Slam Lifts WKU Over Middle Tennessee 10-4
April 2, 2014
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.—Senior Amanda Thomas’ timely grand slam was just what the Western Kentucky University softball team (24-10-1) needed to slide past Middle Tennessee (7-29) 10-4 at the WKU Softball Complex on Wednesday and earn its eighth-straight win.
Thomas’ fourth home run of the season gave her two hits on the day, as she knocked in six RBI. It was the Mesquite, Texas, native’s third grand slam of her career, as she has one against Samford in 2013 and Florida Atlantic in 2012.
Senior Olivia Watkins also had a good day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a trio of runs scored. Watkins posted one stolen base in the game, as she now has 92 stolen bases in her career, tying the all-time record at WKU. Watkins’ 38 swiped bags last season is the most for a single season while she holds 30 for 2014.
Senior Emily Rousseau (13-7) earned the win after going five innings in relief to give up three hits and one unearned run. Freshman Hannah Miniard started the game after allowing three hits and three runs, two earned, in two innings.
WKU posted 13 hits in the game, notching most off of Shelby Stinnett (2-12), as she pitched the first two innings with five runs on seven hits dished out.
MT was the first on the scoreboard in the opening frame, using two hits, a walk and passed ball to get a 2-0 lead. However, WKU pulled ahead 3-2 in the next half inning with Watkins and junior Shawna Sadler getting back-to-back singles. An error allowed Watkins and Sadler to move safely to third and second, respectively, before Thomas put a single to center to score both runners. Mattox, who reached on a fielder’s choice, had her run grab the lead as she scored on a putout getting Thomas stealing second.
It became a tied ballgame in the top second after MT stole home. The Lady Toppers quickly responded to the lone run with two runs in the bottom half, as a junior Preslie Cruce groundout scored sophomore Bethany Oglesby and a Watkins single scored sophomore Brooke Holloway for a 5-3 ballgame.
Two errors in the fourth inning by WKU would turn costly, as MT cut the lead to 5-4. With one of the miscues going to Thomas, she would make up for it in the bottom fourth with her two-out grand slam for a 9-4 game. An insurance run would come in the sixth after Watkins opened the inning with a triple off the top of the right field fence. Sadler then hit a bunt single to score her teammate.
WKU welcomes nationally-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette for a SBC weekend series starting Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. CT. Live stats and video will be available at WKUSports.com.
For more information on WKU softball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the team on Twitter via @WKUSoftball.