MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – WKU Softball saw Shannon Plese and Kendall Smith combined for
five home runs and 12 RBI across the Hilltoppers’ doubleheader sweep of Middle
Tennessee Monday evening. Backed by the offense, Kelsey Aikey tossed a complete-game
shutout as WKU claimed an 8-0, six-inning win in the series opener before the
Hilltopper bats scorched 12 hits and 14 runs in a 14-3, five inning decision in game
WKU improved to 32-9 on the season with the victories while climbing to 14-3 in
league play. Middle Tennessee dropped to 25-20 with the losses and now sit at 9-7 in
Conference USA action.
Plese delivered a pair of three-hit games on the game including two doubles and two
home runs along with five RBI and five runs scored. Smith deposited three home runs
outside of the outfield fences while adding a base hit as well. The Hilltopper
sophomore scored five runs and batted in seven more.
GAME 1: WKU 8, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 0 
Aikey continued her dominance with her third-straight complete-game win in as many
contests for the Hilltoppers with a seven-strikeout showing against the Blue
Raiders. The junior allowed six hits scattered across the six-inning outing while
walking just one.
After a couple scoreless frames, the WKU bats heated up in the top of the third and
the Hilltoppers never looked back. After an RBI single from Shannon Plese opened the
scoring, Kendall Smith stepped into the box and cranked her first of three home runs
on the day for a 4-0 WKU lead.
WKU tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth on a Morgan McElroy base hit to
push the Hilltopper lead to 6-0. Plese’s third hit of the game came in the form of a
solo home run in the top of the fifth. The Red and White added its eighth run in the
sixth after an RBI-groundout from Jordan Thomas plated Rebekah Engelhardt.
Plese finished a triple shy of the cycle with a 3-for-3 showing in the first game.
Jordan Vorbrink recorded a hit and reached base via walks in her other two plate
In the circle, Aikey worked to her third-straight win improving her overall record
to 11-6 on the year and 6-2 in league play.
GAME 2: WKU 14, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 3 
A season-high outpouring of 14 runs helped WKU to a doubleheader sweep of the Blue
Raiders in Monday’s second game. The Hilltoppers scored in four of their five trips
to the plate with all 14 runs coming off an RBI.
In the top of the first, WKU sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run, four-hit
frame that saw the Blue Raiders make a pair of errors. After Plese’s fourth-straight
hit of the day – a bunt single that scored Thomas – Smith stepped up to the plate
and sent her second three-run home run out of the park on the day. Engelhardt kept
the scoring rolling with an RBI double to push the score to 5-0 before Maddie Bowlds
added an RBI knock to score Engelhardt.
WKU added three more runs in the second and third innings, sending 15 more batters
to the plate through those frames. Plese connected for her second home run of the
day in the second before Vorbrink and McElroy drove runs in. In the third, Kennedy
Sullivan connected for a two-RBI double before Vorbrink added another RBI knock,
pushing the Hilltopper lead to 12-1.
After WKU was sat down in order for only the second time of the day in the fourth,
MTSU added two more runs. Sullivan took over for Shelby Nunn in the circle with two
runners on and no outs in the bottom of the inning. On the first batter Sullivan
faced, she induced a ground ball to Engelhardt at third base who tagged the Blue
Raider runner and fired to Bowlds at first for the force out and double play. The
next MTSU batter would go down swinging on three-straight pitches to end the hosts’
With the momentum from the defensive stand, Paige Carter sent the second pitch she
saw out of the park to lead off the fifth inning. After Plese’s stretch of
seven-consecutive plate appearances with a hit came to an end with a strikeout,
Smith dug back in and sent a no-doubter over the leftfield foul pole for her second
homer of the game to round out WKU’s scoring.
In the bottom of the frame, Cassidy Blackford made her first pitching appearance of
the season. After a leadoff walk, Blackford induced a pair of groundouts before the
final out was gloved by Thomas at second.
Nunn took the decision with the three-inning outing, pitching a majority of the
game. She allowed five hits and three runs while allowing one walk and striking out
Plese registered her second-straight three-hit game with a 3-for-4 showing while
Smith added a 3-for-3 performance with four RBI. Vorbrink added a multi-hit game
with a pair of base knocks.
Eight different Hilltoppers recorded RBI in the game while seven Tops recorded hits
in the game.
Next game: WKU will look to sweep the series at Middle Tennessee with the finale
slated for 1 p.m. CT on Tuesday from Murfreesboro, Tenn.