Hilltoppers walk-off LA Tech in series opener, 7-6

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – To cap off the final regular season series and homestand, the WKU Hilltopper Softball team walked off Louisiana Tech in the bottom of the seventh inning, 7-6, to take the series opener. A nine-hit night off the Tops’ bats concluded strong offense from the home team.

Katie Gardner and Kelsie Houchens combined work in the circle for a four-strikeout ballgame, while Faith Hegh secured her sixth home run of the year to tie the game. Senior Brylee Hage, who graduated earlier in the day, was hailed the hero with the game-winning shot to second base, ruled as a fielding error to score TJ Webster.WKU 7, LA TECH 6

Playing the first Friday at the WKU Softball Complex in over two months, the Lady Techsters got in front in the leadoff frame with an RBI single into right field.

Third baseman Jessica Bush came through for WKU, popping a stand-up double into center field to score Brylee Hageand Randi Drinnon and take the lead in the second.

In the bottom of the third, Hage picked an insurance run with a shot up the middle, good for an RBI and a 3-1 lead for the Hilltoppers.

LA Tech found the gap up the middle in the fourth inning, tying the ballgame with two more runs on a single advancement with the throw. The Lady Techsters capped off their scoring with a two-run single through the right side in the fifth inning for a 6-3 lead.

Not giving up through six, the Tops got going on offense with a Kelsey Schmidt double into right-center field to score one, before second baseman Kasia Parks sacrifice-flied into right field to mark a one-run contest, 6-5.

Playing a bottom of seven, Faith Hegh collected the ninth home run of her college career with a 1-2 shot into right-center field to tie the game. After TJ Webster took a four-ball walk, Drinnon shot a single into right field sending Webster to third base in scoring position. Hage now at the plate, she took a clean count ball down the middle to the four-hole, just missing the second baseman’s glove for a fielding error to send Webster across the plate for the final walk-off run.

In the circle, Katie Gardner got the start and gave up three runs and six hits with a strikeout in the first four innings. Coming into relief for the win, Kelsie Houchens pitched the rest of the ballgame giving up only three runs, two hits, recording three strikeouts, and giving up two walks for her 10th win of the season.

Game two of the series is scheduled for tomorrow, May 6 at the WKU Softball Complex. First pitch between the Hilltoppers and Lady Techsters is set for 1 p.m. CT.