CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Behind WKU Softball’s 12th no hitter in program history off the
arm of Kelsey Aikey, the Hilltoppers turned in split results on day one from the
Chattanooga Challenge. Tennessee Tech (1-5) handed the Red and White a 9-5 loss to
open play before WKU responded with its second extra-inning win of the year in a 1-0
win over Sacred Heart (0-1).
“We were very successful in getting runners on base in our second game today but
missed opportunities to score those runners, thankfully Kelsey Aikey had a very
special and impressive night,” head coach Amy Tudor shared. “I’m really proud of
her; eight innings with zero hits is always a good night and fun to watch. Aikey
competed every pitch – as did the defense behind her – and this achievement is well
“During the seventh and eighth innings especially, I was confident our hitters could
break through and get us on the board,” Kelsey Aikey stated. “I stayed confident in
myself and my pitches knowing my defense and catcher were in it doing everything
they could too. It does mean a lot to join former Hilltoppers like Miranda Kramer
who have thrown no-hitters, especially since we haven’t had one since she was here
in 2015. I didn’t know Miranda very well but I definitely looked up to her.”
The Hilltoppers are now 4-2 on the young season. On Friday, the WKU squad is
scheduled to take on Tennessee State at noon CT, followed by another round with
Tennessee Tech right away.
GAME 5: TENNESSEE TECH 9, WKU 5
After falling behind 7-0 by the bottom of the fourth inning to Tennessee Tech, the
WKU offense was finally able to break through with a four-run fifth inning. The
Hilltoppers saw Morgan McElroy, Maddie Bowlds and Paige Carter notch hits in the
frame while Rebekah Engelhardt reached on an error and Kelsey McGuffin drew a walk
as the Red and White cut the score to 7-4.
Tennessee Tech responded with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to put
the contest out of reach for the Red and White. Jordan Thomas drew a one-out walk in
the top of the seventh frame and ultimately came around to score the game’s final
run on Carter’s second hit of the contest.
Shelby Nunn got the nod in the circle and took the decision after 2.1 innings of
work and six earned runs allowed. The freshman registered one strikeout against no
walks. Haylee Towers tossed 3.0 innings in relief with three strikeouts while
allowing Tennessee Tech’s last three runs before Kelsey Aikey worked 0.2 innings to
close the game.
“In today’s first game, we were able to generate offense but Tennessee Tech just
produced more,” Tudor said. “While it’s not enjoyable to be behind in a game, I was
happy to see us respond and continue to fight, unfortunately the deficit was just
too large to overcome.”
GAME 6: WKU 1, SACRED HEART 0 (8)
Kelsey Aikey carried her first collegiate no-hitter through eight innings behind a
career-high seven strikeouts to help WKU Softball to a 1-0 extra-inning win over
Sacred Heart in Thursday’s second game. Aikey gave up one hit by pitch and a
fielder’s choice while WKU committed an error in an exceptional 85-pitch outing. The
win is the sophomore’s first decision of the 2018 campaign as she needed just 85
pitches for the eight-inning victory.
After Aikey and the Hilltopper defense held the Sacred Heart go-ahead run at third
base with the international-tiebreaker rule in place, the Red and White headed to
the plate to finish things up. Morgan McElroy began on second base in the bottom of
the eighth for WKU and with one away, freshman Jordan Thomas stepped up and with a
1-2 count sent a standing double to the wall in left-center field to plate McElroy
for the walk-off win.
“Jordan Thomas, just like Aikey, was clutch,” Tudor shared. “Thomas looked confident
at the plate and picked a good pitch and put a great swing on it.”
WKU stranded 14 runners on base in the contest while Thomas’ game-ending double was
the lone extra-base knock of the game.
1. Game one saw Paige Carter record a single and a double for her second
multi-hit game of the season and the fifth of her career.
2. Sophomore Kelsey Aikey threw an eight-inning no-hitter in game two – the
first of her career and 12th in program history. Miranda Kramer was the last
Hilltopper to toss a no-no in a perfect game on May 7, 2015.
3. WKU has won two games in walkoff fashion this season: first vs. Hampton in a
10-2 (6) run-rule decision and second vs. Sacred Heart 1-0 (8).
4. WKU Softball has used a different starting lineup in all six of its games
How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Softball, follow the
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