GAME NOTES: WKU softball plays in ‘Bama on Spring Break

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Just a couple days after sweeping Middle Tennessee in the 2017 Conference USA opening series on the road, WKU Softball will look to continue its winning ways with three spring break games in Alabama from Tuesday through Thursday. The Hilltoppers will play at Samford, at Jacksonville State and at Alabama A&M, respectively, during the swing south.

Tuesday – 3 p.m. CT at Samford | Birmingham, Ala. | Livestats | Stream
Wednesday – 4 p.m. CT at Jacksonville State | Jacksonville, Ala. | Livestats
Thursday – 1 p.m. CT at Alabama A&M | Huntsville, Ala. | Livestats

WKU will open the road swing at Samford on Tuesday, owning an 8-6 advantage in the all-time series over the Bulldogs. In Birmingham, WKU has won both meetings between the sides, a doubleheader during the 2012 season. Samford is off to a 7-17 start in 2017. A common opponent between the Hilltoppers and Bulldogs is Mississippi State, a team Samford fell to twice during the first weekend of March.

Jacksonville State and WKU have two previous meetings prior to this week’s. The sides are even at 1-1 in the series with both games taking place in Georgia in 2010 and 2012. A common opponent between the two sides in 2017 is Ohio, a team that was receiving votes when WKU beat the squad, 6-2. JSU fell to the Bobcats in a 1-0 neutral site decision.

Thursday’s opponent, Alabama A&M, is a new face for the Hilltoppers as the sides have never met before. The Lady Bulldogs are 7-15 on the 2017 campaign entering this week’s game.

Entering spring break play, the Hilltoppers own a 16-9 overall record, which includes a 4-2 mark in contests on the road. By the end of the week, WKU will be more than halfway through its regular-season slate and will have its longest stretch on the road (six games) in the books.

Tallying three more long balls over the weekend, WKU has now registered 25 home runs in as many games this season to lead the C-USA ranks. The mark also ties for 16th across NCAA Division I programs. Eight of those homers have been by a leadoff hitter for the WKU squad while nine have come with two strikes in the count.

Several Hilltoppers have broken out of early season slumps as the squad has continued to find its way onto the base paths. With a team on-base percentage of .349, nine individuals own OBP’s of .300 or better. WKU also leads C-USA and the nation in batters hit by pitches (39), including 12 from Taylor Proctor, the second-most by an individual in the nation, and nine more by Brittany Vaughn. Additionally, the Red and White have racked up 76 walks.

Following the mid-week games, WKU Softball will return to Bowling Green to host C-USA preseason favorite, Florida Atlantic for a three-game series. Play will open on Saturday with games at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. CT, followed by a contest on Sunday at noon.

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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