ESPNKY

Tops drop 1-0 decision at Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Behind a complete-game showing from senior pitcher Kathryn
Downing, WKU Softball dropped a 1-0 decision at Louisville despite holding the
Cardinals to a single run for just the third time in series history. Freshman
Adarian Gray registered the Hilltoppers’ hit on the day while WKU stranded four
runners on the base paths.

“It was a great opportunity to come in and play an ACC squad and we were able to
keep ourselves in this game with our pitching and defense,” WKU head coach Amy Tudor
stated. “I felt like defensively we put ourselves in a great spot to win today.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get our bunts down and that proved to be a game
changer.”

The Red and White remain above .500 at 24-23 with the non-conference loss while
Louisville improved to 26-14.

Paige Carter got things going in the top of the first inning with a lead-off
five-pitch walk but after stealing second, the freshman ended up stranded. WKU had
its best chance of the day to score in the top of the third inning after Taylor
Proctor took her Conference USA-high 21st hit by pitch of the season to lead off the
frame. With two down, Kara Brewer drew an eight-pitch walk to move Proctor into
scoring position but both Hilltoppers were left stranded.

In the bottom of the third, Louisville had the go-ahead run 60 feet from the plate
with two outs, but the Hilltoppers got out of the jam as Morgan McElroy took care of
a ground out to the right side.

Gray battled in the top of the fourth inning with the Louisville pitcher before
finding some green in right-center field. The freshman moved into scoring position
on a wild pitch, but would end up stuck there.

Louisville plated the lone run of the day in the bottom of the fourth inning after
the Cardinals capitalized on a lead-off double. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to
third base before Louisville knocked its only other hit of the inning to plate the
Cardinal.

WKU made contact throughout the contest, but couldn’t find any green in the
outfield, recording 15 fly outs on the day.

In the circle, Downing moved to 13-10, with six of those losses coming by two runs
or less. Downing tossed just 79 pitches with a strikeout while limiting Louisville
to five hits.

“I thought that Kat pretty much dominated that game in the circle; she threw a
really good game and I’m proud of her,” added Tudor.

WKU resumes Conference USA action this weekend on The Hill as Southern Miss comes to
town. Prior to the first pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader at noon CT, the
Hilltoppers will honor seniors Kathryn Downing, Taylor Proctor and team manager
Kelsey Jernigan.

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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