Aikey pitches first complete-game shut out

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Behind the first complete-game shut out of Kelsey Aikey’s career, WKU Softball closed its spring break road trip with a 4-0 win at Alabama A&M. The Hilltoppers capitalized on four Lady Bulldog errors in the contest and became just the third team to shutout Alabama A&M in 2017.

“This was our last game on the road and I felt like Aikey did a good job in the circle and kept the Alabama A&M hitters off balance, while our infield continued to make plays on ground balls,” head coach Amy Tudor shared. “We scored enough runs to win today and now we will carry what we did well today into the weekend and work on some of the little things at practice tomorrow.”

With the win, the Hilltoppers are now 18-10 on the 2017 season, surpassing last season’s win total. Alabama A&M fell to 7-16 on the year with the loss.

The Red and White got onto the scoreboard in the second inning as Brittany Vaughn led off the frame by reaching on an error. Taylor Proctor moved Vaughn into scoring position with a successful sacrifice bunt and Vaughn moved up another base on a wild pitch. Paige Carter went on to bring Vaughn home on a single to left field and advanced to second on an error. Up 1-0, Aikey stepped into the box and shot a single to right field, bringing Carter around to score from second base for a 2-0 lead.

WKU did the rest of its damage in the top of the sixth inning with Vaughn again leading off the inning with a walk. Proctor executed another sacrifice bunt to advance Vaughn into scoring position. Carter flew out to right field deep enough for Vaughn to tag up and move to third base. After an Aikey walk, Cassidy Blackford pinch-ran for her fellow pitcher and proceeded to steal second base. At that point, Morgan McElroy stepped into the box with two outs and got hit by a pitch to load the bases. With the bases loaded, Taylor Childress got hit by a pitch as well to score Vaughn from third base. Childress and McElroy advanced on a wild pitch which Blackford scored on during Kara Brewer’s at bat for the final 4-0 score.

Aikey went the distance in the circle to move to 3-2 on the year and pick up the first shutout of her career. The freshman allowed just three walks while striking out five in the contest. At the plate, Aikey finished 1-for-1 with a pair of walks.

Conference USA play will resume Saturday for the Hilltoppers as preseason-favorite Florida Atlantic comes to town for a three-game series. Play will open on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. CT, in Bowling Green.

How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Softball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUSoftball, Instagram @WKU_Softball and Facebook @WKUSoftball.

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