Western Kentucky’s softball team posted its third-straight five-inning run-rule victory as the Hilltoppers downed Belmont on Wednesday at the WKU Softball Complex.
The Hilltoppers improved to 17-4 on the season, while Belmont dropped to 2-11.
WKU’s Kennedy Sullivan earned the complete-game shutout win in the circle – her second game of the sort this season. The sophomore is now 4-1 on the season after striking out nine and allowing just three hits across her five innings of work.
Sullivan helped her own cause at the plate, delivering a 2-for-2 performance with two RBIs and a pair of stolen bases. She now owns 10 multi-hit games on season to go along with eight multi-RBI performances.
The Hilltoppers’ Taylor Davis and Taylor Sanders each added two-hit days as well. Both of Davis’ hits were singles while Sanders delivered a pair of extra-base hits. The freshman sent a triple off the wall in center field in the bottom of the second to score Brylee Hage for the first run of the game before leading off the fourth frame with a solo home run to straight-away center. The long ball was her third in the last three games.
Sanders’ fourth-inning blast marked the first of five Hilltopper runs in the frame as WKU sent all nine batters to the box. TJ Webster and Jordan Thomas each drew one-out walks before Davis singled to load the bases.
On the seventh pitch of her at bat, Sullivan sent a base hit to right field to bring two teammates around to score to give the Hilltoppers a 9-0 advantage. After stealing her second base of the game, Sullivan advanced to third on an errant throw before a sacrifice fly from Kendall Smith brought her home for the Tops’ 10th run of the day.
Webster notched the first multi-RBI game of her career in the victory. After Sanders tripled in the bottom of the second, Maddie Bowlds would take a hit by pitch before Webster sent a single back up the middle to score two runs.
WKU’s three-straight five-inning victories mark just the third time the program has achieved the feat. The last time the Hilltoppers had done so was 2013 with three-straight five-inning wins and a six-inning run-rule victory. The same four-game combination also occurred during the program’s inaugural 2000 campaign.
With its opening midweek tilt in the books, WKU will now turn its focus to its Conference USA-opening series against Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders visit from Friday-Sunday for the three-day series with first pitches slated for 3 p.m., 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.