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Proctor, Towers homer as WKU splits with BGSU

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Back at the WKU Softball Complex for a mid-week doubleheader against Bowling Green, the Hilltoppers split the day with a 7-2 win in game one before falling 4-6 in game two. Senior Taylor Proctor as well as freshman Haylee Towers each registered their second career home runs in the twinbill.

“I thought that in that first game we came focused and played the game inning by inning like we had planned to do,” WKU head coach Amy Tudor stated. “I thought our pitchers did a good job in the circle for the most part. At the plate, we swung the batter pretty well early on.”

The Hilltoppers are now 12-9 on the 2017 campaign with Ohio coming to town for a single game on Thursday.

GAME 1: WKU 7, BOWLING GREEN 2

WKU Softball broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning with a bit of small ball. With the top of the order at the plate, Kara Brewer opened the frame by beating out a first-pitch single to the second baseman. Tommi Stowers followed with a shot through the left side for a single and both runners advanced a base when Jordan Mauch reached on an error to load the bags with no outs. Next up, Brittany Vaughn sent a shot deep to centerfield that would ultimately be caught but allowed Brewer to score from third for a 1-0 lead in the game.

Bowling Green got on the board in the top half of the fourth inning with a two-run shot over the left-center field wall. In the bottom of the fourth, the Hilltoppers batted around the order as WKU tacked on five runs to take a 6-2 lead in the tilt. Kelsey McGuffin tallied the first run in the frame on a well-executed double steal of second and home. A couple batters later, Stowers singled through the right side scoring Adarian Gray. After a Mauch walk, Vaughn singled to left field to bring Stowers around from second base. Proctor followed with an RBI double off the left field wall scoring Mauch and putting Vaughn 60 feet from home. Towers got hit by a pitch to load the bases and Morgan McElroy stepped up with a six-pitch walk to score Vaughn to close out the scoring in the frame.

Following a scoreless fifth inning by both sides, the Hilltoppers held the Falcons again in the top of the sixth and registered the final run of the 7-2 decision in the bottom of the frame on a Proctor home run that stayed just to the right of the left field foul pole. The homer was the second of Proctor’s career with both coming during her senior campaign.

Four different Hilltoppers registered a multi-hit game in the day’s opening game including Stowers, Vaughn, Proctor and Gray.

Towers went the distance in the circle for the sixth time this season, improving to 3-5 on the year. The freshman finished with six strikeouts in the outing.

GAME 2: BOWLING GREEN 6, WKU 4

A pair of Kathryn Downing strikeouts in the top of the first inning along with a lineout to third base sent the Hilltoppers back to the dugout to get things going in the second tilt of the doubleheader.

Kara Brewer opened things up with a four-pitch walk and Stowers followed by reaching on an error, advancing Brewer into scoring position. After getting down in the count early, Vaughn ultimately loaded the bases on a walk to bring Proctor to the plate. Proctor singled and got in a rundown between first and second bases, allowing both Brewer and Stowers to score. Towers stepped into the box and doubled the Red and White’s lead with her second career home run to give WKU a 4-0 lead.

“I thought Proctor and Towers both had great plate approaches today,” continued Tudor. “Two long balls definitely make an impact. They’ve been working really hard and obviously that work is paying off.”

In the bottom of the second inning, Gray picked up her third hit on the day, knocking a standing double to the left field wall. The freshman ended up stranded on the base paths in the frame and the BGSU pitcher would face one over the minimum the rest of the way.

Bowling Green picked up a pair of runs in the top of the third inning to cut the Hilltopper lead in half. The Falcons went on to tally two more runs in each of the sixth and seventh frames as well.

Downing worked into the top of the sixth inning in her start, giving up four runs, before Kelsey Aikey came in for a relief appearance. Aikey totaled three outs in the appearance before moving into right field for Downing to come back to record the final two outs for a 6.0+ outing. Downing finished with seven strikeouts on the day to match her career high. Aikey took the decision in the circle, moving to 2-2 on the season.

MID-WEEK SCHEDULE
Thurs. vs. Ohio | 5 p.m. CT | Video | Livestats

Following the mid-week contests, WKU Softball will spend the weekend in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as the Hilltoppers open Conference USA play with a three-game series at Middle Tennessee.

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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