BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Off to an 11-4 start on the 2018 campaign thanks to a pair of
Sunday victories, WKU Softball has matched the fourth-best start in program history.
The Hilltoppers picked up their second come-from-behind win on the season in the
day’s opener, taking a 6-5 decision over Green Bay before returning to the WKU
Softball Complex for a 6-2 night cap over Indiana State.
“It was a long day for the entire team, but I was proud of our focus and response
when we were behind in game one and ahead in the second game,” head coach Amy Tudor
opened. “We are continuing to produce offense from top to bottom of our lineup and
keep making huge defensive stops. Speaking of defense, Kelsey Aikey and Shelby Nunn
held down the circle both in starting and relief situations today. It’s beneficial
for them to gain experience in different scenarios early in the year to prepare for
In 15 weekend at bats, Paige Carter recorded eight hits – five for extra bases – 10
RBI and 16 total bases while earning a pair of walks. The sophomore started all five
games en route to a .533 batting average, 1.067 slugging percentage and .588 on-base
As a staff, the WKU pitchers combined for a 1.81 ERA, three complete games and two
saves in 31.0 innings pitched across the weekend.
GAME 14: WKU 6, GREEN BAY 5
Despite a slow start that saw the Hilltoppers fall behind 3-0 early on to Green Bay,
WKU used a five-run fourth inning to pick up its second come-from-behind win of the
season. Eleven Hilltoppers made plate appearances in the bottom of the productive
Brittany Vaughn accounted for two of the appearances, waiting out walks both times
including as the leadoff. A Kendall Smith double moved Vaughn into third base before
Rebekah Engelhardt sent a sacrifice fly to right field for the first Hilltopper run
of the contest. After what was intended to be a sacrifice bunt by Morgan McElroy,
two runs crossed the plate as McElroy advanced all the way to third. Still not done,
Jordan Vorbrink stepped into the box and send an RBI single out to left field to
score McElroy for the 4-0 advantage. Carter would ultimately drive Vorbrink in for
the fifth run of the inning on a fielder’s choice.
Kelsey McGuffin opened the bottom of the fifth with her third walk of the game
before taking second on an Engelhardt bunt single and third on a Green Bay throwing
error. With two teammates in scoring position, Vorbrink picked up her second RBI of
the game in the form of a groundout to the second baseman that allowed McGuffin to
cross the plate.
Green Bay would eventually score two more runs in the top of the sixth inning to
pull within one at 6-5 before the Hilltoppers got back to the dugout.
Haylee Towers got the nod in the circle and went 3.0 innings before Shelby Nunn
(7-3) came in for 3.0 innings of relief and the win. Kelsey Aikey closed things out
with a 14-pitch save in the seventh, recording a pair of strikeouts while facing the
GAME 15: WKU 6, INDIANA STATE 2
WKU wasted no time building its lead in the day’s second game as eight Hilltoppers
made plate appearances the first trip to the box to take a 4-0 lead. Carter got on
board with a two-out infield single and stole second before Vaughn stepped into the
box and launched her team-leading fourth home run of the season. Smith kept the
frame alive with a single before a McGuffin walk moved her into scoring position.
With a 1-1 count, Engelhardt sent a double to the left-center gap to score both
Hilltoppers on base to double the WKU lead.
In the bottom of the second frame, the Red and White added another tally after
Jordan Thomas doubled off the left-field wall and Carter – with her second hit of
the day – brought her home.
Indiana State broke into the scoring column in the top of the third after opening
the inning with back-to-back hits but the Hilltoppers responded in the bottom half
of the frame with a run of their own for the final 6-2 score. Carter accounted for
the RBI after sending her third hit of the game – second double – to right field to
plate Vorbrink who led off with a single.
After the Sycamores registered a hit in the first at bat of the game, Aikey and
company sat the next six batters down in order. Aikey (3-1) worked 4.0 innings en
route to her third win of the season, finishing with three strikeouts while allowing
just one earned run. Nunn tossed the final 3.0 innings to earn her first collegiate
save while allowing just two hit and no runs.
Carter’s three-hit performance was her third of the sort this season as the
sophomore now has seven total multi-hit games on her sophomore campaign.
Additionally, she has now reached base safely in each of her last 13 games.
Vorbrink’s fourth-inning single also marked the junior’s team-best sixth-straight
game with a hit – extending her reached base streak to nine games.
With the Hilltopper Classic in the books, the Red and White will now gear up to host
another weekend outing with the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Spring Fling on the slate.
Austin Peay, Dayton and Evansville are scheduled to come to town for the three-day
* Kelsey Aikey notched the third save of her career against Green Bay this
morning, the first for any Hilltopper in the 2018 season. She entered the game in
the top of the seventh inning and faced the 2-3-4 batters from Green Bay. Aikey
opened with a KL before a pop up to first base for the second out. The sophomore
finished the game with three-straight strikes – looking, swinging, looking – to lock
up the save. In the day’s second game, Aikey would go on to get the win while Shelby
Nunn locked up the Hilltoppers’ second save of the year.
* Kendall Smith contributed multiple hits against Green Bay for her fifth
multi-hit game of the season. WKU now has 26 collective multi-hit efforts on the
year. Jordan Vorbrink and Morgan McElroy added two RBI apiece while each recording
their third multi-RBI game of the year.
* Paige Carter recorded three hits and a pair of RBI in Sunday’s win over
Indiana State. The sophomore now has seven multi-hit games along with seven
multi-RBI performances this year – both lead the team. Carter has racked up 21 RBI
through 14 games played.
* WKU’s win over Green Bay marks the Hilltoppers’ second come-from-behind win
of the season. The first came last weekend when the Red and White defeated
Chattanooga 7-2 after trailing 2-0 at the end of the third inning. Today, Green Bay
was able to score two before the Hilltoppers got on the board, but WKU racked up
five runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth to secure the victory.
* Brittany Vaughn now has four home runs on the season – 13 as a Hilltopper –
and 17 on her career.
* WKU Softball is now 2-1 all-time against the Green Bay Phoenix. The
Hilltoppers have now claimed five-straight wins over Indiana State dating back to
the 2012 campaign and are now 8-1 against the Sycamores all time.
* An 11-4 start in the team’s first 15 games marks the best start to a season
under head coach Amy Tudor. The program has had three starts of 12-3 (2004, 2009,
2012) and one of 11-4 (2011) in its history. All four of those teams went on to have
30+ win seasons.
How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Softball, follow the
team on Twitter at @WKUSoftball, Instagram @WKU_Softball and Facebook/WKUSoftball.