ESPNKY

WKU softball prepares for open of 2017 season

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — With the 2017 WKU Softball season just days away, fourth-year head coach Amy Tudor and senior Kathryn Downing previewed the upcoming campaign at the team’s media day.

Coach Tudor and the Hilltopper unit will take on Stephen F. Austin in the Mississippi State-hosted Bulldog Kickoff on Friday, Feb. 10, in Starkville, Mississippi, to get the 2017 season underway. Following five games in Starkville, WKU returns to The Hill to host a pair of tournaments that include nine-straight home contests for the Red and White.

A young squad comprised of just 16 players this season, including eight true freshmen, the Hilltoppers will rely heavily on newcomers both on the field and at the plate in 2017. Tudor’s team returns six players from the 2016 unit, including senior Downing, a local Bowling Green product. Downing is the first four-year player that Tudor has coached entering her 13th overall season as a head coach.

Tudor’s squad boasts seven players from the Bluegrass State, including a trio of Bowling Green talents in Downing, senior Taylor Proctor and redshirt-junior Brittany Vaughn. The Hilltoppers also include three players from Indiana and a trio of pitchers from Iowa. Rounding out the 2017 squad are a pair of players from Minnesota and a Tennessee native.

WKU has 25 home contests on the slate this season, including two February tournaments at the WKU Softball Complex. The Hilltoppers will face off against seven squads that earned spots in the NCAA Tournament last season including the national champion Oklahoma Sooners.

QUICK HITS
• The Hilltoppers will play at the WKU Softball Complex 25 times this season
• WKU will take on three squads ranked in the Top-25 Preseason Poll (Oklahoma, Kentucky, Florida Atlantic)
• Three Hilltoppers hail from Bowling Green, Kentucky: Kathryn Downing, Taylor Proctor and Brittany Vaughn
• Coach Tudor enters her fourth season at the helm of her alma mater and owns an 86-68-1 record on The Hill
• This year’s squad features 10 new faces including eight freshman and a pair of junior transfers

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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