WKU Softball: Warren East’s Gardner inks national letter of intent with Tops

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Softball head coach Amy Tudor continues to add to her talented 2019-20 roster as she announced the signing of Katie Gardner to a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday. Gardner comes to The Hill from just down the street, playing her prep ball at Warren East High School where the righty pitched for the Lady Raiders.

“We are excited to have Katie join our team,” Coach Tudor shared. “She is coming off of a stellar senior season and has collected many impressive accolades over her career. She is a competitor and has shown she knows how to win. Katie will add depth and strength to our pitching staff.”

Following a senior campaign that saw Gardner record 342 strikeouts, 184 innings pitched, a 1.10 ERA and a 30-2 mark in the circle, Gardner was named the 2019 Kentucky Miss Softball by the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association. Additionally, she repeated as the Region 4 Athletic Director’s Player of the Year as Warren East finished as the state runner up for the second-consecutive season. Gardner closed her final season of prep ball with a .405 batting average recording 32 hits – 23 for extra bases including nine home runs – along with 35 RBI.

Gardner led the Warren East squad to a 36-3 overall record and a perfect 8-0 mark in district play in addition to a third Region 4 title. For her efforts box in the circle and at the plate, she was named a 2019 MaxPreps Softball Second Team All-American in addition to her fourth All-State and third Region 4 MVP honors.

As a junior, she posted a 20-4 mark with 273 strikeouts in 154 innings of work while recording a 0.78 ERA. From the batter’s box, Gardner notched a .346 batting average with three home runs and 18 RBI in 2018.

Playing for the varsity squad since she was in seventh grade, Gardner helped Warren East to a combined record of 103-26-1 over the last four seasons and 153-49-1 dating back through the 2014 campaign. Across her career, Gardner finished with 110 wins and 1,239 strikeouts.

The local product is one of nine newcomers headed for The Hill this fall. Gardner is the seventh member of WKU’s incoming freshman class that will join fellow newcomers in junior college transfer Maggie Trgo and Princess Valencia from Morehead State. Rounding out the freshman class are Madeline Rider, Madeline Harris, Taylor Sanders, Tatiasha Webster, Carli Crowder and Brylee Hage.