Western Kentucky senior outfielder Paige Carter lines up to bat Friday against Middle Tennesse at the WKU Softball Complex.

Behind its sixth come-from-behind victory of the year, Western Kentucky secured a Conference USA-opening series sweep of Middle Tennessee on Sunday. The Hilltoppers claimed the weekend finale 2-1 over the Blue Raiders to sweep MTSU for the second-straight series.

WKU is now 20-4 overall on the season. Needing just 24 games to reach the 20-win mark is a new program record, surpassing last season’s record of 25 games. The Hilltoppers are 3-0 in C-USA play while Middle Tennessee dropped to 13-13 and 0-3 in league play.

“This was a big weekend for our pitching staff,” coach Amy Tudor said in a news release. “I felt we made adjustments and looked composed in the circle. Our hitters did enough for us to win all three games. I am proud of our fight and focus the entire weekend.”

Shelby Nunn earned the win in the circle to improve to 6-1 on the season after working 5 2/3 innings against the Blue Raiders. Nunn allowed five hits and one walk while striking out two and giving up zero earned runs.

Kelsey Aikey made her third appearance in as many days against Middle Tennessee, entering the game in the bottom of the sixth and earning her third save of the season and the 15th of her career.

Middle Tennessee opened the scoring with an unearned run in the top of the second. The Blue Raider held on until WKU struck for both of its runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Pinch runner Jordan Ridge scored on an error to tie the game at 1-1. Two batters later, Taylor Sanders reached on an error that allowed Paige Carter to score for the 2-1 Hilltopper advantage.

Kennedy Sullivan’s three-hit game was her third this season and 11th multi-hit game overall. Carter’s two-knock showing was her sixth of the year and seventh multi-hit performance of the 2020 campaign.

Thomas added WKU’s sixth hit – a one-out single in the fifth – extending her reached base streak to 20-consecutive games.

WKU breaks off from its 14-game homestand to play one game at UT Arlington Tuesday at 5 p.m. before a three-game series at North Texas starting Friday.


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