BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Returning to The Hill to resume Conference USA play after six games on the road, WKU Softball saw junior Jordan Mauch send two home run balls out of the ballpark before the Hilltoppers fell in both games of the day’s doubleheader against Florida Atlantic. WKU dropped the first decision 7-2 and the second 5-1 to the C-USA preseason favorite, FAU.
In attendance for the day’s games were several members of the inaugural WKU Softball squad from 2000 including the program’s first head coach, Leslie Phelam, to celebrate the 1,000th game in WKU Softball history.
The day’s setbacks moved the Hilltoppers to 18-12 on the season and 3-2 in Conference USA action.
GAME 29: FAU 7, WKU 2
Florida Atlantic struck first in the opening tilt, plating a pair of baserunners in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half of the frame, WKU got on the board as well after Jordan Mauch send a first-pitch home run well over the wall in right-center field. Mauch’s shot was the team-leading seventh of the season.
The Owls went on to put up two more runs in the top of the second inning and another in the top of the third before the Hilltoppers held them scoreless to open the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth, WKU picked up another run as Mauch sent her second home run of the day out of the WKU Softball Complex. Brittany Vaughn got on board after being hit by a pitch and moved to third base on a Kelsey McGuffin double, putting the tying run at the plate but the Hilltoppers couldn’t do anymore damage in the inning.
After a scoreless fifth inning by both sides, FAU registered two more runs for the final 7-2 score.
Kathryn Downing took the loss in the opening game, moving to 10-3 on the year. Kelsey Aikey pitched the final 5.0 innings, striking out three Owl batters.
With a pair of Mauch home runs, WKU has now seen two players homer multiple times in a game this season.
McGuffin tallied WKU’s third hit of the game with a double down the left-field line. Vaughn also reached base twice after getting hit by a pitch, ending up stranding in scoring position each time.
GAME 30: FAU 5, WKU 1
In contrast to the way the first game of the day opened, both sides were scoreless through the first two frames of game two at the WKU Softball Complex. Florida Atlantic again struck first, scoring a run on a WKU error that would have ended the inning and tacking on another tally before the Hilltoppers could get back to the dugout.
With one away in the bottom of the third, the Hilltoppers got to work themselves. Rebekah Engelhardt knocked the first of her two singles in the game to right field and proceeded to steal second. Two batters, later, Vaughn singled to left field to score Engelhardt from second for an RBI and the Hilltoppers’ lone run of the game. Kara Brewer reached on an FAU throwing error, moving Vaughn to third, but both Hilltoppers would end up stranded on the base paths.
FAU picked up three more runs in the top of the fifth inning to account for the final 5-1 score.
Haylee Towers went the distance in the circle and moved to 5-7 on the season. The contest marked Towers’ team-leading eighth complete game of the season.
Engelhardt finished the game going 2-for-3 at the plate for the first multi-hit game of her career and scored WKU’s lone run in the outing.
WKU and Florida Atlantic will close series play on Sunday with a first pitch slated for noon CT from the WKU Softball Complex.
Saturday – 1 p.m. CT | WKU Softball Complex | L, 2-7
3 p.m. CT | WKU Softball Complex | L, 1-5
Sunday – Noon CT | WKU Softball Complex | Livestats
How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Softball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUSoftball, Instagram @WKU_Softball and Facebook @WKUSoftball.