WKU Softball Upsets #7 Kentucky in Walk-Off Thriller

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU Softball welcomed No. 7 Kentucky to The Hill and left the ballpark with a nine-inning 2-1 walk-off victory over the nationally-ranked Wildcats Wednesday evening. The win was WKU’s first over a Power 5 or ranked squad this season as the Wildcats move to 23-3 on the year with their only other losses coming to No. 5 Florida.

Paige Carter struck for a home run to lead off the game for the third time this season for a 1-0 WKU lead that would hold until the seventh inning.

In the circle, Kelsey Aikey drew the start and kept the explosive Wildcat offense quiet. The redshirt-senior allowed just six hits in 6+ innings of work along with just one run while striking out two. While in the circle, Aikey and the Hilltopper defense stranded nine Wildcat runners on base before UK would finally break into the score column.

Kennedy Sullivan would relieve Aikey in the circle, making the move in from centerfield, for 2.0 innings of work. Sullivan allowed just one hit and added a strikeout as well.

Shelby Nunn (6-0) would come in to pitch the ninth frame, facing the top of the Kentucky lineup. After a leadoff walk, Nunn induced a couple flyouts to right field and handled a chopper back at her to get the Hilltoppers back to the dugout.

TJ Webster connected for a one-out single back up the middle to turn over the Hilltopper batting order. Carter followed with her third walk of the night to move Webster into scoring position. Two batters later with two outs, Sullivan stepped into the box and sent the 1-0 pitch to the gap in right-center field to bring Webster around to score for the Hilltoppers’ fourth walk-off win of the season.

The last time WKU downed a top-10 team was March 8, 2014 in Knoxville, Tenn., when the Hilltoppers took down No. 2 Tennessee, 3-2.

WKU has now claimed the last two meetings against Kentucky, after winning the 2019 matchup in Lexington, 4-1, over the then-ranked No. 17 Wildcats. The Hilltoppers are now 9-16 all-time against UK and 3-7 in meetings that have taken place on The Hill. The last time WKU downed Kentucky in Bowling Green was April 14, 2004 in a 4-3 decision.

Wednesday’s win over Kentucky was the Hilltoppers’ first extra-inning affair of the 2021 campaign and was just the second in the all-time series against the Wildcats. The sides also went nine innings in 2015 when UK won 1-0 on a walk off.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

  • Tuesday, March 30 – 6 p.m. vs. Lipscomb | Bowling Green, Ky.
  • Thursday, April 1 – Noon CT at Marshall | Huntington, W.Va.