NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Taking a break from league play, WKU Softball headed to Lipscomb for a mid-week double feature Wednesday night but came up short in both contests to the Lady Bisons from the Draper Diamond. Game one saw Lipscomb put up three early runs before the Hilltoppers could get the offense going, whereas WKU gave up its lead in the fifth inning in round two.
With the non-conference setbacks, WKU is now 18-15 on the season while Lipscomb improved to 23-7.
GAME 32: LIPSCOMB 4, WKU 1
Lipscomb struck first in the day’s opening game in the bottom of the second inning following a scoreless first frame by both dugouts. The Lady Bisons were able to load the bases before Kelsey Aikey tallied the first out in the frame with a swinging strikeout. Before the Hilltoppers could get out of the inning, Lipscomb took a 3-0 lead in the first game.
In the top of the third inning, Taylor Childress reached base on a dropped third strike, representing the Hilltoppers’ second baserunner of the contest. However, Lipscomb would turn a double play during the next at bat to clear the bases and get out of the frame.
Scoring continued in the bottom of the sixth inning for the Lady Bisons as the hosts took a 4-0 lead in the game. WKU got out of the inning when Tommi Stowers flashed the leather in right field for the final out with the bases loaded for Lipscomb.
On the very first pitch of the top of the seventh inning, Jordan Mauch crushed a no-doubter over the wall in right-center field to end Lipscomb’s no-hitter and shutout with one swing of the bat. The home run marked the ninth of the season for Mauch and the final tally in the 4-1 loss for the Hilltoppers.
Aikey went the distance in the circle and finished with four strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. The freshman is now 3-3 on the season.
After walking in her first two at-bats of the afternoon, Mauch’s first official at-bat resulted in her home run as the junior went 1-for-1 in the tilt.
GAME 33: LIPSCOMB 4, WKU 2
The Hilltoppers kept things rolling in game two of the day as they got on the board in the top of the second inning. Brittany Vaughn got things started with a trickler back to the pitcher who made an errant throw down the foul line allowing Vaughn to advance all the way around to third base. Two batters later, Kara Brewer singled to left field allowing Vaughn to touch the plate for a 1-0 Hilltopper lead.
WKU would add to its lead in the top of the third inning with Adarian Gray leading things off by knocking a hard single right at the third baseman. Gray went on to take second and third bases on illegal pitches. After knocking one at the shortstop, Vaughn hustled down the line to beat out the throw, allowing Gray to score on the play for a 2-0 lead.
After Brewer singled for her second hit of the game to lead off the fourth inning, the Tops went down in order. Back out on the dirt, the Red and White were able to hold the Lady Bisons again in the bottom of the inning.
To open the bottom of the fifth frame, WKU and Lipscomb traded outs and hits. With two down and two on, Haylee Towers relieved Kathryn Downing on the mound. Towers induced a high-fly ball into the outfield that managed to find grass on an error, allowing Lipscomb onto the scoreboard. The next two Lipscomb batters sent doubles to the outfield, allowing Lipscomb to take a 4-2 lead in the game.
Down to their final out in the top of the seventh inning, Stowers registered an infield single and Mauch worked a six-pitch walk to reach base, but the Hilltoppers would end up being the seventh and eighth runners left on the base paths ending the game.
Towers would end up taking the loss on 1.1 innings of work despite neither pitcher allowing an earned run. Towers is now 5-8 in her debut season.
Next up, WKU Softball will be traveling to Huntington, West Virginia, to pay a visit to Marshall for a three-game series. The Hilltoppers and Thundering Herd are slated for a doubleheader on Saturday with the series wrapping up on Sunday.
How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Softball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUSoftball, Instagram @WKU_Softball and Facebook @WKUSoftball.