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Seven-run eighth lifts WKU softball over UTEP

EL PASO, Texas – After seven scoreless innings of play in the series decider at
UTEP, the Hilltoppers used a seven run eighth inning to secure the victory in El
Paso. WKU saw 13 batters make plate appearances in the big eighth frame, registering
three doubles, four singles and two walks in the inning to secure the victory.

Paige Carter went 3-for-4 at the plate in the leadoff spot for the Hilltoppers with
a walk. Brittany Vaughn, Jordan Mauch, Adarian Gray, Morgan McElroy and Taylor
Proctor each registered two hits on the day. Kelsey McGuffin and Vaughn led the way
for the Tops with two RBI apiece.

Paige Carter led off the game with a single to centerfield and moved into scoring
position on a Haylee Towers’ sacrifice bunt. Brittany Vaughn followed with a single
to shallow left field, ending up on second base after a mishandle by the Miner
outfielder. With two runners in scoring position the Hilltoppers couldn’t convert
and headed out to the field still scoreless.

WKU threatened in the top of the third frame after Taylor Proctor knocked a single
back up the middle to open the inning. Two batters later, Carter recorded her second
hit of the day before Towers walked to load the bases with one out. The next two
Hilltoppers carded a fielder’s choice for the out at home followed by a groundout to
end the frame still scoreless.

Still scoreless heading into the top of the seventh, Carter reached base for the
fourth time in as many at bats taking a one-out walk. However, the freshman ended up
stranded on the base paths.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Hilltoppers got into a jam after the leadoff UTEP
batter got on board after an error. The runner moved into scoring position on a
sacrifice bunt. UTEP followed with the next batter reaching second base after a
single. The next batter grounded one at Vaughn who fired back to Proctor to throw
the runner out at the plate and keep the game alive with the second out of the
frame. The next batter grounded out to second to send the game into extra innings.

WKU busted open the game in the top of the eighth inning en route to a seven-run
frame. Jordan Mauch got things going with her first of two singles. Adarian Gray
followed with a ground-rule double, moving Mauch to third before Kelsey McGuffin
sent a double to right-center field to plate both Hilltopper baserunners. Morgan
McElroy did her part with an RBI single for a 3-0 WKU lead. Taylor Proctor followed
with an RBI single of her own before the Hilltoppers registered their first out of
the inning.

Working on two outs, the Red and White kept pouring it on. Vaughn sent a two-RBI
double to left center scoring both Towers and Rebekah Engelhardt before Mauch sent
here second single of the inning up the middle to score Vaughn for a seven-run
advantage.

Finally registering the third out in the top of the eighth inning, WKU had 23
minutes to get three outs before the drop dead time. UTEP wouldn’t make it easy on
Kathryn Downing, posting two runs of its own before the Hilltoppers closed the game
with 13 minutes to spare on the clock.

Downing went the distance in the circle, improving to 12-8 on the season with 8.0
innings pitched including four strikeouts.

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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