BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Trailing 6-2 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, WKU
Softball mounted its largest come-from-behind win of the season with six unanswered
runs to clinch the series victory over UTEP with a 8-6 win from The Hill on Sunday.
Paige Carter knocked a three-run home run to give the Hilltoppers a 7-6 advantage in
the bottom of the fifth and Kelsey Aikey secured her ninth victory of the season
with 3.1 innings of two-hit, shutout ball in relief.
“Anytime we can get a conference series win it’s huge for us,” head coach Amy Tudor
opened. “When our backs were against the wall today I thought we really stepped up
and performed well both offensively and in the circle. The crowd played a huge role
in this victory for us today. I’ve never heard this place get that loud and we
certainly appreciate everyone coming out and being as vocal as they were.”
With the win, WKU secured the series over UTEP to improve to 23-14 overall and 7-5
in Conference USA action. The Red and White have now claimed three of their four
C-USA series on the year. UTEP fell to 14-26 and 4-11 in C-USA.
WKU struck first, tallying a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning as
Kelsey McGuffin drew a one-out bases-loaded walk. Brittany Vaughn followed with a
single to bring Maddie Bowlds around to score for the 2-0 Hilltopper advantage.
UTEP went on to score the next six runs with a pair in the top of the third followed
by a four-run fourth frame.
After being retired in order in the bottom of the fourth, WKU limited UTEP to one
base runner in the top of the next frame before exploding for five runs. Kendall
Smith and Jordan Thomas opened things with back-to-back singles before Bowlds drew a
walk to load the bases. Jordan Vorbrink sent a two-RBI single to left-center field
before Carter rounded out the scoring with her three-run homer to straight-away
Aikey opened the top of the sixth with a strikeout before inducing a pair of infield
popouts to retire the Miner batters in order for the first time since the opening
inning. Three straight walks by Smith, Thomas and Bowlds loaded the bases for
Vorbrink who brought home the insurance run in the form of pinch-runner Cassidy
Blackford on a groundout.
In need of three outs, Aikey spread 14 pitches out across four UTEP batters allowing
just her second hit in relief in the top of the seventh before securing the victory.
The sophomore finished with no walks and a strike out while tossing 48 pitches – 31
WKU will continue its homestand as Eastern Kentucky will visit The Hill on Wednesday
for a doubleheader slated for 3 p.m. CT.
* Sunday’s four-run deficit marked the largest come-from-behind win of the
season for WKU. The comeback victory was the seventh of the 2018 campaign for the
* WKU is now 4-2 all-time against UTEP, claiming both series against the Miners.
* The Hilltopper leadoff hitters went 4-for-6 on the day, reaching safely in
the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th innings with two walks and two singles. WKU is now
96-for-240 in leadoff opportunities for a .400 mark.
* Paige Carter registered her fourth home run of the season and sixth of her
career on The Hill. Her long ball marked WKU’s 28th of the season.
* Jordan Vorbrink and Paige Carter each notched 3-RBI days. Vorbrink now has
two 3 RBI games on the season (and career) while Carter’s effort was her fourth of
the season (and career).
* Jordan Thomas reached base every trip to the plate on the day going 2-for-2
with two walks. The freshman scored two runs. The multi-hit effort was her second of
the weekend and ninth of the season.