BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Bowling Green State University softball team (5-4) split with Western Kentucky Wednesday evening. The Falcons fell to the Hilltoppers, 3-1, in game one before defeating WKU by a score of 8-6 in game two.
Junior Erika Stratton
collected one of only two hits for the Falcons in the first contest, going 1-for-1 with a single and a run scored. Sophomore Paris Imholz
suffered her first loss of the 2013 season, giving up two earned runs and four hits in 4.1 innings. Freshman Braiden Dillow
held the Hilltoppers scoreless in relief, allowing just two hits in the final 1.2 innings of play.
Western Kentucky scored the first three runs of the day, crossing the plate in the first, fourth and fifth inning, respectively. Bowling Green's only run came in the sixth inning, starting with a walk to Stratton to begin the frame. Chloe Giordano
was struck by a pitch in the following at bat, putting runners at first and second base. After two-straight strikeouts, senior Andrea Arney
reached on a single, moving Stratton home to put the score at 3-1.
The Falcons were unable to cross the plate again in game one, giving the Hilltoppers the decision.
Bowling Green responded with a much better offensive performance in game two, scoring a season-best eight runs in the win. Stratton went 2-for-2 at the plate with a home run and three RBI, while Giordano went 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored. Sophomore Jamie Kertes
started the contest, giving up three earned runs and striking out three in 4.0 innings of play. After a brief appearance by Dillow, Imholz (4-1) finished the final 2.2 innings with two strikeouts and zero hits allowed.
Western Kentucky started the contest with a surge of runs in the first inning, crossing home plate four times on two hits to take an early 4-0 lead.
The Falcons answered with their best offensive inning of the 2013 season, regaining the lead over the Hilltoppers with five runs on four hits in the top of the second. Singles from Paige Berger
and Shelby Fink
set the table for a three-run shot from Stratton, her first home run of the season. After a walk and a fielding error put two runners on, Fulk sent a single up the middle, bringing home the final two runs of the frame.
Bowling Green added a sixth run in the top of the third, crossing home plate once on one hit. After a hit batter and a sacrifice bunt, Giordano belted a single to left center for her second RBI of the young season.
Western Kentucky pulled even with the Falcons in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to a two-run home run from Katrina Metoyer.
With the scored tied at 6-6 in the top of the sixth, Bowling Green pulled ahead for the final time with two runs on one hit in the inning. The frame was highlighted by a solo shot from Giordano, marking the first home run of her career and second RBI in the two-game set.
Western Kentucky was unable to solve Imholz for the remainder of the contest, securing the 8-6 win for the Falcons.
“I am proud of the way the team fought today,” said head coach Shannon Salsburg
. “We need to find a way to set a better tone in game one, but the team showed great tenacity coming back time and time again in the second game. I am proud of the effort and team-first mentality we showed, and we look forward to building off today as we finish spring break in Evansville.”
Bowling Green now heads to Evansville, Ind. for a doubleheader with the Purple Aces. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST.