Pair of aces lead Tops to success

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Tops softball is off to a historic start with a 22 and seven record, boasting a 13 and one record at home. WKU has been propelled by a pair of aces in the circle. Shelby Nunn and Katie Garner, who are both bowling green products.

“I think we feed off of each other,” Gardner said. “Like if Shelby’s on I’m on. If I’m on, Shelby’s on.”

Nunn and Gardner have known each other since they were seven and five, respectively. Shelby shined for the South Warren Spartans while Katie donned the Warren East yellow and blue.

“We played region games out here, so that was always a great experience,” Nunn said.

“Being able to come back here and plays been incredible. And then of course getting to play with Shelby is really cool,” Gardner said.

Nunn and Gardner both hit and pitched in high school, but now they are soley in the circle at WKU.

Since the start of the century, there has never been to Tops pitchers from Bowling Green in their rotation dating back to head coach Amy Tudor’s days as a player on the hill.

“I think it’s really awesome to play for your hometown,” Tudor said. “I think a lot of people would love to do that. If they could stay at home and or if there was a college there. So they represent Bowling Green, they represent Western Kentucky in the highest way. They’re great student athletes.”

While this dynamic duo means so much to Western Kentucky University, it’s doubly as impactful to the Bowling Green community.

“It’s very encouraging for our girls for our community, just to know that the hard work pays off,” South Warren Spartans Softball Head Coach Kelly Reynolds said. “And, you know, Western has a great program.”

“There’s a lot of talent in Kentucky,” Warren East Raiders Softball Head Coach Philip McKinney. “There’s a lot of talent in the fourth region, but have two kids from the 14th district to Warren County Schools. You know, two little girls that grew up playing in the Warren County Youth Sports and travel ball and to see them play at such a high level at Western Kentucky University. You get a lot of hopes to a lot of little kids right here. They’re just now starting pitching lessons. You know, maybe someday they can pitch for the Hilltoppers.”