BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Softball picked up where it left off Sunday night at the
plate, combining for 17 runs on 21 hits to complete its sweep of the Hilltopper
Classic. The Red and White opened the day with a walk-off run-rule victory over
Cleveland State in six innings behind Shelby Nunn’s one hitter before holding on for
a 9-7 win against Indiana State to seal the sweep.
“Our hitters came out and did a really great job at the plate – this was probably
our best hitting weekend so far,” head coach Amy Tudor opened when asked about the
team’s 4-0 record in the Hilltopper Classic. “For us, setting that tone both in the
circle and also at the plate is huge.”
Across the squad’s 12 combined trips to the plate, the Hilltoppers connected for
four home runs, a triple and four doubles. All 17 of the day’s runs came via an RBI
while 10 came with two outs in the inning.
The Hilltoppers entered the weekend with a collective .251 batting average and
raised it to a .292 mark after hitting at a blistering .364 clip across the four
games of the Hilltopper Classic.
WKU has now won five-straight games after claiming its rubber match against Western
Illinois last weekend. The Hilltoppers have improved to 10-2 on the young season –
the best start in program history. The victories were also the 600th and 601st
all-time wins in WKU Softball history.
GAME 11: WKU 8, CLEVELAND STATE 0 
Nunn went the distance in Monday’s opening tilt, allowing just one hit – a leadoff
single in the top of the second – before retiring 15 of the final 17 batters. The
two that reached base got on board after a couple of fielding errors as the
sophomore did not allow any walks. She finished with four punchouts on just 64
pitches for her second win over the weekend.
In the Hilltoppers’ first at bat of the day, Jordan Thomas sent a home run over the
left field wall to give WKU the lead it would never relinquish. Thomas’ shot was her
second of the season. Two batters later, Shannon Plese connected for her first of
four hits on the day with a double before Kendall Smith brought her around to score
on a base hit of her own.
WKU added five more runs in the bottom of the third after sending 10 batters to the
plate. Thomas, Jordan Ridge and Morgan McElroy all registered singles in the frame,
Plese struck for a triple and Rebekah Engelhardt cranked a home run to account for
the squad’s five hits in the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tommi Stowers began her tear with a pinch-hit double to
the left-center gap. The junior advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on
Paige Carter’s walk-off, pinch-hit single to left field that secured the 8-0
Nine different Hilltoppers tallied a hit with Thomas and Plese registering multi-hit
GAME 12: WKU 9, INDIANA STATE 7
WKU struck first in its second contest of the day, taking a 3-0 lead in its first
trip to the plate against Indiana State, and never looked back en route to the 9-7
Stowers went 3-for-3 at the plate in the outing, finishing just a triple shy of the
cycle while adding four crucial RBI in the process. In her first start of the
season, Stowers delivered a two-run home run on a 1-1 count to make the score 3-0 in
favor of the Tops in the bottom of the first.
“Tommi hit it today,” Tudor shared of Stowers’ 4-for-4 day. “She’s seeing the ball
great and has a ton of confidence. She’s worked really hard and works just as hard
in the bullpen getting all of our pitchers ready and she got her moment and she
Prior to Stowers’ long ball, Plese had already connected for a solo shot to
straight-away center to open the game’s scoring. Both home runs came with two outs.
WKU proceeded to add another run in both the bottom of the second and third innings.
First, Maddie Bowlds got on board with an infield single before Thomas brought her
home with a double. In the next frame, Smith drew one of her three walks on the game
before Stowers delivered her second double of the day to make the score 5-1.
The bottom of the fourth opened with two quick Hilltopper outs before the squad kept
things moving with seven more at bats in the frame to tally three more runs. Four
base hits, a walk and an ISU fielding error allowed the Red and White to score three
runs on four hits in the frame before leaving the bases loaded.
Indiana State wouldn’t go away, scoring a total of six runs across the final three
innings and force WKU to eventually use four different pitchers in the tilt.
Kennedy Sullivan drew the start and secured her Conference USA-best seventh win of
the season (7-0) before giving way to Kelsey Aikey in the top of the fifth. Aikey
worked into the sixth before Haylee Towers made her first appearance of the year and
recorded 1.1 innings of work. In the top of the seventh after the Sycamores brought
the tying run to the plate, Nunn heard her name called again and secured a one-out
save after inducing a flyout to Towers in leftfield to end the game.
“Shelby’s stuff was working today, she had great command of all of her pitches,”
Tudor said of the sophomore pitcher. “She’s always got that killer instinct on the
mound and the defense played wonderful behind her. I thought she did a really good
job in game one and then turning around to get the save with one batter in the
NEXT GAME: Following seven games from the WKU Softball Complex over the last two
weekends, the Hilltoppers will now take the show on the road the next three
weekends. Up next, the Red and White will head to Birmingham, Ala., for four games
at the Samford-hosted tournament beginning Friday, March 1.