GULF SHORES, Ala. – WKU Softball took a quick 7-0 lead after its first trip to the
plate on Sunday and never looked back as the squad claimed a 7-3 victory over South
Alabama. The Hilltoppers finished 4-1 on the weekend to match the program’s best
start since the 2015 campaign.
“We started and finished the tournament producing a lot of runs,” head coach Amy
Tudor shared. “While we need to get more consistency throughout our offense, I am
proud of how we scored when needed this weekend. Our circle was very strong almost
all tournament delivering a lot of swing and misses.”
Friday, Feb. 8 – WKU def. Missouri State, 8-0
Friday, Feb. 8 – No. 17 Auburn def. WKU, 8-0
Saturday, Feb. 9 – WKU def. Florida A&M, 4-3
Saturday, Feb. 9 – WKU def. Tennessee State, 5-0
Sunday, Feb. 10 – WKU def. South Alabama, 7-3
Sunday action opened from the Gulf Shores Sportsplex with WKU sending 11 batters to
the plate in the first frame. In her first plate appearance of the inning, Jordan
Thomas led off by roping a double to the fence in the right-center gap. In her
second trip to the box, Thomas connected for a single to score a pair of Hilltopper
runs. Shannon Plese, Jordan Ridge, Morgan McElroy and Taylor Davis all registered
RBI in the inning. Thomas (2), Jordan Vorbrink, Plese and McElroy accounted for the
Hilltoppers’ five hits in the frame.
From there, Kennedy Sullivan took the circle and after a leadoff walk the freshman
sat down four-straight Jaguar batters with strikeouts before her no-hit bid ended
with a shallow single just past the infield dirt. Sullivan ended up work 6.0 innings
for her third win of the weekend while finishing with nine strikeouts to bring her
tournament totals to 29. She allowed just four hits in the showing and finished with
five called punchouts.
Kelsey Aikey closed out the game with her second relief appearance of the weekend
and took care of business with 16 pitches including a pair of swinging strikeouts.
With the appearance, Aikey took over as the owner of WKU’s career relief appearances
record with 40. The junior closed the weekend with 10.2-consecutive scoreless
innings of work and will look to build upon it next weekend.
“Sullivan and Aikey had impressive performances and both worked well together,”
Tudor continued. “Aikey has that closure mentality and was focused and ready to go
when called upon while Sullivan led the staff with the most strikeouts.”
WKU’s victory snapped a five-game losing streak to South Alabama. The Red and White
are now 12-15 all-time against the Jaguars.
“We learned a lot this weekend and have areas to build on and several areas to
improve as we move on to Western Illinois,” Tudor closed.
NEXT GAME: Next weekend, the Hilltoppers will welcome Western Illinois to the WKU
Softball Complex for a three-game series beginning Saturday.