Nunn’s Gem Leads Tops to 6-0 Shutout Win Over UTEP
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – [RV] WKU Softball picked up its fourth shutout win of the season with Friday’s series-opening 6-0 win over UTEP on The Hill. Shelby Nunn secured a career-best 12 strikeouts while picking up her third complete-game shutout of the season. Brylee Hage finished with another multi-hit game while Abby Newman added a multi-RBI outing in the win.
“Great team win today,” opened head coach Amy Tudor. “Shelby was in full command and the defense was solid behind her. Overall, we were patient at the plate today and produced offense in different ways.”
The Hilltoppers climbed to 19-4 with the victory and 3-1 in Conference USA play. Additionally, the Red and White now sit at 5-2 all-time against UTEP. The Miners moved to 10-15 overall and 1-3 in league action.
With one more win, WKU can match the quickest start to 20 wins in program history. The feat was set by the 2020 squad, who began the campaign 20-4.
The Hilltoppers struck for two runs in their first trip to the plate thanks to a pair of RBI walks drawn by Taylor Sanders and Jordan Ridge. The Hilltoppers sent eight batters to the box in the frame and WKU is now 8-0 when scoring in the first inning and 14-0 when scoring first in a game.
WKU tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third when Newman sent a two-run base hit to the right-center gap to double the Tops’ lead to 4-0.
During the play of a bunt single from Bailey Curry, Taylor Davis came around to score from second after a throwing error by the Miners for a 5-0 lead. From there, Sanders drew a walk to load the bases and Maddie Bowlds followed with a sacrifice fly to score Hage, who had reached on a 13-pitch walk.
The Miners would never advance a runner past second base as UTEP’s four hits came in the form of singles across four different innings. The fifth UTEP runner stranded on base came from Nunn’s lone walk in the game.
Nunn improved to 11-2 in the circle with the win. Her 12 strikeouts surpassed her previous career-high of 11, which came on the first weekend of her career against Hampton back in 2018.
From the second into the sixth inning, Nunn and the Hilltopper defenses retired 11-straight UTEP batters. The fifth-year pitcher took care of the fourth and fifth innings herself, striking out the side.
The Hilltoppers finished with six hits in the win while matching their season-high of seven walks drawn. Sanders and Ridge both drew two free bases in the game.
Hage is up to eight multi-hit efforts this season with Friday’s two-hit game. She struck for a single in the first inning and double in the third before drawing a walk in the fourth and lining out in the fifth.
The multi-RBI outing was the first of Newman’s career, who is up to six RBI on the season. The rookie has settled into patrolling the outfield – starting the last six games between left and right field.