LAFAYETTE, La.– Western Kentucky (11-7, 2-1) came from behind to carry a lead into the bottom seventh inning and closed the game with the pitching performance of junior Emily Rousseau to defeat No. 15 Louisiana-Lafayette 3-2 to take the Sun Belt Conference series.
Saturday’s 12-2 win marked the first time since 2011 that WKU defeated a nationally ranked opponent, as the Lady Toppers took down No. 6 Michigan in March 2011. It was also the first win against the Ragin’ Cajuns (16-9, 1-2) since 2009, as ULL took the last 11 meetings. With Sunday’s victory, WKU took the series against ULL for the first time since 2009 when WKU went 2-1 against the No. 14 Cajuns in Bowling Green.
Pitching her second complete game in two days, Emily Rousseau (6-2) gave up five hits and two earned runs while striking out five to earn both of the Lady Toppers’ wins in the opening weekend of league play. Jordan Wallace (9-5) went the distance for the Cajuns and allowed seven hits and two earned runs while walking seven and striking out five.
Katrina Metoyer went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs, as she helped the WKU outhit ULL 7-5. Preslie Cruce earned a hit while posting an RBI while Olivia Watkins, Shawna Sadler and Karavin Dew each crossed the plate in the final contest.
The home team went on the board early in the first with two runs on three hits. Brianna Cherry opened the inning with a double to left center before moving to third on a wild pitch. An RBI single by Shellie Landry in the following at-bat scored the run. A walk and fielder’s choice allowed Sara Corbello to add the second run with a single, but the WKU defense stayed with it to end the frame with a double play at the plate and catch Corbello at third.
WKU threatened in the following innings, getting the leadoff batter on in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings while loading the bases in each of the frames but the fourth. In the fifth with Watkins on first after a single to left center, the Lady Toppers put up their first run off of a Metoyer double to right field to set the game at 2-1.
The Lady Toppers tied the game in the sixth after starting the inning with a Dew single. Metoyer then posted her second RBI of the day with a hit landing in center field. ULL’s Cherry threw the ball toward home plate, but Dew made it in safely.
With Sadler on second and two outs in the top seventh, WKU took its first lead of the game after Cruce took a single to the outfield to bring in Sadler for the game-winning run.
After the ULL leadoff made it to first with a single, Rousseau shut down the following three batters, catching all three swinging to end the contest.