Tops softball blankets yard with 5 homers in 18-8, Game 2 win

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Behind a Conference USA season-high five home runs in game two,
WKU Softball picked up a five-inning 18-8 victory over UTEP to split the day’s
doubleheader with the Miners. A season-best 18 runs also leads the league for runs
by a single team in a Conference USA game.

“We talked about playing with pride and passion and playing the game as hard as you
can, and everybody came out and played incredibly hard in that second game,” head
coach Amy Tudor said. “Morgan [McElroy] took a hard hit to the face sliding into
second and stayed in the game and then Kelsey [McGuffin] held onto that ball during
the collision in the outfield; everybody just played hard. I know we put up a lot of
runs, but that’s probably the most proud I’ve been of how hard we’ve played.”

With the day’s results, WKU is now 21-21 on the season including a 5-9 mark in
league play. UTEP dropped to 12-27 overall with the doubleheader results and matched
WKU with a 5-9 C-USA record.

Sat. – 4 p.m. CT | El Paso, Texas | L, 2-10
6 p.m. CT | El Paso, Texas | W, 18-8

GAME 41: UTEP 10, WKU 2 (6)
UTEP got on the board first in the bottom of the opening frame to put the Hilltopper
squad down 3-0 early in the first meeting between the programs. The Miners tacked on
one more run in the bottom of the second inning before the Red and White broke
through in the third.

Haylee Towers got things rolling with a one-out walk, her second of the day, to open
the inning. Kelsey McGuffin followed by sending the second pitch she saw off the
fence in left-center field to move Towers to third. Jordan Mauch followed suit with
a double off the outfield wall in the same spot, which scored Towers and put
McGuffin on third. Adarian Gray followed by knocking the team’s third-straight
double to score McGuffin and move Mauch to third and cut the Hilltoppers’ deficit in
half at 4-2.

In the bottom of the third inning, UTEP responded with two more runs to regain its
four-run lead. After the Hilltoppers went down in order in the top of the next
inning, the Miners put up another run for a 7-2 lead.

The hosts put up three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to close things
out as the Hilltoppers fell 10-2.

Kathryn Downing took the loss in the circle after throwing 2.1 innings. Kelsey Aikey
closed out the final 3.1 innings including a trio of strike outs.

GAME 42: WKU 18, UTEP 8 (5)
Below .500 for the first time on the season, WKU wasted no time getting things going
in game two as the Hilltoppers made 12 plate appearances in the first inning alone.
Brittany Vaughn got the Hilltoppers on the board with an RBI double to score Kara
Brewer and Mauch followed with a double down the right-field line to plate both
Vaughn and Towers for a 3-0 WKU lead. All nine Hilltopper batters reached base in
some form in the frame for an 8-0 WKU lead after the opening half frame.

UTEP got on the board in the bottom of the first with a couple runs of its own
before the Hilltoppers responded with three more runners in the top of the second
inning to take an 11-2 lead. Mauch led off the frame with a solo shot to right
field, her 11th dinger of the season. The Hilltoppers used a bit of small ball to
get the next two runs in the inning.

After the Miners put up two more runs in the bottom of the second, WKU regained its
eight-run advantage on a Vaughn solo home run in the top of the third inning. UTEP
got one back in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 12-5.

WKU let loose again in the top of the fifth inning, plating six more runs while
batting through the order. The Hilltoppers knocked three home runs in the frame, as
Adarian Gray, Rebekah Engelhardt and Paige Carter all left the yard.

With an 18-5 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth and final frame, WKU needed
three outs to close out the victory. UTEP wouldn’t make things easy, plating three
Miners before the Hilltoppers closed the game with a successful Taylor Proctor to
Gray pick off at first base.

Towers went the distance in the circle to pick up her sixth win of her debut
campaign. The freshman notched a pair of strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work.

Rubber match action is slated for a 1 p.m. CT first pitch from the Helen of Troy
Softball Complex.

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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