Category Archives: Softball

SOFTBALL: Smith, Wagner notch pair of awards

Shannon Smith named WKU Scholar Athlete of the year

Lady Tops senior co-captain Shannon Smith has been awarded the honor of the WKU Scholar-Athlete of the year.

Smith earned a GPA of 3.5 or higher for fall 2009. She was a 2008 ESPN The Magazine All-Academic Region IV honoree and has also been named to the Sun Belt Conference commissioner’s list three times.

“I am extremely honored to have received this award,” Smith said via text message. “It shows that all my hard work and dedication to school has paid off.”

Smith follows in the footsteps of her two sisters, Kristalyn and Ashley, who both won the award.

Kristalyn played softball for Western from 2000-2003, while Ashley played at South Carolina and plays professionally for the Philadelphia Force.

“It is also very special to receive the same award that Kristalyn won,” Smith said. “My other sister Ashley won the scholar athlete award at South Carolina so it’s nice to follow in their footsteps.”

Head Coach Tyra Perry said that Smith’s achievement is the definition of a student-athlete.

“It’s a direct indicator of how hard Shannon works and what kind of character she possesses,” Perry said.

Freshman Wagner named SBC Pitcher of the Week

Freshman pitcher Kim Wagner has been named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week for the first time in her career after her performances against Troy this weekend.

Wagner (13-5) finished with a 0.49 ERA after giving up only seven hits and one run after 15 innings of pitching.  While facing 56 batters, she walked just three and struck out eight.

“I just feel grateful to be considered for the award,” Wagner said. “It’s a good feeling since there are so many good pitchers in our conference.”

Wagner’s domination over the weekend began on Friday in game one against Troy when she pitched eight innings, giving up just one run and four hits. Later that night, she recorded her first save of her career going two innings with zero hits.

Wagner pitched 5.2 innings and gave up just three hits and no runs against the Trojans on Saturday.

“My team backed me up and made me look better this weekend so I hope we continue to do well as a team,” Wagner said.

Emily Patton

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SOFTBALL: Lady Tops swept in three-game series

The Lady Toppers heard the sound of their nine-game win streak snap after one of three games against Louisiana-Lafayette was played.

Then things got worse.

Western (18-12, 2-7) saw its first Sun Belt Conference action in more than two weeks, falling 7-4 in game one and 8-1 in game two on Saturday.

The Ragin’ Cajuns (19-11, 3-0) outlasted Western 6-2 in Sunday’s game three.

After giving up a 4-0 lead in game one to lose by three, Head Coach Tyra Perry attributed the Lady Tops’ first two losses to a struggle with “finishing the game.”

“Even with a four-run lead, we needed to keep scoring,” Perry said. “You’ve got to play the whole game.”

Losing to ULL is unfamiliar to the Lady Tops, who had won four of their last six meetings with the Ragin’ Cajuns by a total of five runs.

With Western’s prior success against the defending Sun Belt Champions, freshman Ciara Garcia said there was no intimidation factor entering the weekend.

“We didn’t want to hype them up. We know they aren’t the same team they have been in the past,” Garcia said. “But we also know that we can beat them.”

Western has now been swept three games by both conference opponents Florida International and ULL.

Looking ahead to next weekend and the Lady Tops’ next Sun Belt matchup against Troy, freshman Katrina Metoyer said she remains confident in the team.

“I think we are going to dominate,”  Metoyer said. “We are going to be aggressive and just hit the ball.”

But before Western’s next go at conference play, the Lady Tops will first face off against Lipscomb at 5 p.m. Tuesday at WKU Softball Complex.

“This is why we play the game,” Perry said. “In the Sun Belt, each win counts and hopefully we can get a few more.”

Emily Patton

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SOFTBALL: Lady Tops fall to ULL; win streak snapped

The Lady Toppers said goodbye to their nine-game win streak and hello to Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, dropping a doubleheader in their first Sun Belt Conference game in more than two weeks.

Western (18-11, 2-6) lost game one, 7-4, and game two, 8-1.

In the first game, the Lady Tops jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on only one hit but three Ragin’ Cajun errors. Western added another run in the second inning, giving senior Ashley Contreras her third RBI of the game.

But by the sixth inning, ULL fired back to take over the lead. Adding two more runs in the seventh, the Ragin’ Cajuns moved ahead three runs without a rally from the Lady Tops.

Freshman Kim Wagner recorded the loss, pitching seven innings while giving up 11 hits, six earned runs and striking out seven.

Game two did not favor the Lady Tops either when ULL grabbed an early lead off a two-run homerun.

The Lady Tops got on the board after a double by junior Sara Williams sent senior Lindsay Antone home in the second inning, but that was it for Western’s scoring. ULL added five more runs to the score, winning 8-1.

Freshman Mallorie Sulaski took the loss, giving up eight hits and six earned runs. Western recorded five hits with Williams claiming the lone RBI.

The Lady Toppers conclude their three-game series against ULL tomorrow at noon at the WKU Softball Complex.

Emily Patton

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SOFTBALL: Lady Tops shutout Austin Peay, improve win streak to nine

The Lady Toppers greeted win No. 9 of their season-long win streak against Austin Peay on Wednesday night, shutting out the Lady Govs 4-0.

Before to the last nine games, Western’s longest win streak on the season was only three wins.

Junior Sara Williams’ homerun to left-center field helped the Lady Tops get on the board early in the second inning. While up 2-0 in the third inning, the Lady Toppers added another to lead by three.

With the help of an Austin Peay error, junior Elizabeth Ferrell reached first base, freshman Ciara Garcia moved her to second off a sacrifice bunt, and Ferrell then scored after another Lady Govs error.

Western added its last run in the sixth inning with the help of freshmen tag-team Mallorie Sulaski and Katrina Metoyer, which sent Sulaski in for the score.

Sulaski is successfully filling the shoes of injured senior co-captain Shannon Smith, whose status is still “day by day,” according to head coach Tyra Perry. Smith could possibly return in the next two weeks.

Also continuing success was freshman pitcher Kim Wagner, who pitched both of Western’s wins against Tennessee State last night. Wagner held the Lady Govs scoreless and allowed six hits.

Wagner’s record improved to 11-3 on the year as she struck out five batters in seven innings.

After nine consecutive nonconference meetings, the Lady Tops get back to conference play against Louisiana-Lafayette at WKU Softball Complex at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, then conclude the series at 12 p.m. on Sunday.

Emily Patton

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Softball: Lady Tops sweep Eastern Kentucky

The Lady Toppers have increased their winning streak to four after sweeping Eastern Kentucky in a two-game series at Richmond, winning game one 8-0 in five innings and then winning 5-0 in game two.

“We have been playing very well,” Head coach Tyra Perry said. “We are playing together as a team even when we get down and we are starting to show that resiliency.”

In game one, Western dominated early at the top of the second inning, scoring eight runs on four hits. Senior Jamie Hennis recorded two of Western’s six hits.

Freshman pitcher Kim Wagner gave up only three hits, pitching her sixth shut out of the season.

The Lady Tops took the same control in the second game as they had done in the first scoring two runs off two hits.

Freshman Karavin Dew posted two of Western’s nine hits.

Sophomore Dana Nathanson pitched five innings, giving up five hits holding the Colonels scoreless for the second time.

With the two added wins, freshman Mallorie Sulaski said the team is finally playing their kind of softball.

“The team is doing very well,”  Sulaski said. “We are having fun and playing aggressive which is leading to good results.”

The Lady Tops will be back in action at home against Tennessee State at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m Tuesday.

Emily Patton

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SOFTBALL: Smith to miss next two weeks

When the Lady Toppers return to play this weekend in the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic, they will be without their starting first baseman.

Senior co-captain Shannon Smith was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain Monday and will be confined to a boot and crutches for the next two weeks.

The injury occurred when Smith collided with a runner from Florida International last Sunday. Smith fell to the ground in pain and left the game limping shortly after.

With the Lady Tops heading to Boca Raton, Fla., next week, Smith said she hopes to be healthy enough to play by then.

“The pain is not too bad,” Smith said. “Its just more annoying to miss than anything.”

Emily Patton

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Softball doubleheader canceled

The Lady Topper softball team’s home opener against Tennessee State has been canceled, according to Western’s media relations.

The games, which were supposed to go off at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., will instead be played on March 23 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Western will get another chance at a home opener this weekend, kicking off a three-game series with Sun Belt Conference foe Florida International at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Jonathan Lintner

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