ATLANTA – The Alabama State University softball season came to a close as the Lady Hornets fell to Western Kentucky University for the second time in the Postseason NISC, 12-3 at Bob Heck Field Wednesday night.
Western Kentucky (31-30) grabbed an early lead in the first inning after Brittany Vaughn laced a two-out single through the left side to score Haylee Towers from third, after a ball was misplayed in foul territory off the bat of Vaughn that would have potentially ended the inning.
Alabama State (22-35) scored a single run in the second inning to trim the Western Kentucky lead to 2-1 when senior Perry Hindi hit her first home run of the contest.
The Hilltoppers put the game away in the third with four runs to go up 6-1, but not before the Lady Hornets at runners at first and second with no one out in the top half of the inning. However, Western Kentucky got out of the inning after Kaylee Davis – who reached second safely on a Valerie Centeno single – was tagged out although the play was ruled dead by the base umpire, who subsequently called her out at second on a tag play. The inning ended on a double play.
Western Kentucky put the game away in the sixth with six runs in the top half of the inning, before Hindi connected on her second home run of the night – this of the two-run variety for the final score.
Davis ended the night 2-for-3, while Kendall Core finished her career 2-for-3 and Hindi 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
The loss brought to an end the highly decorated careers of eight seniors including Core and Centeno, who are all over the Alabama State record books.
Core ends her career as the second-best hitter (213), second-best power hitter (30) and second-best run producer (154) in school history; while also finishing with 86 runs scored. Centeno finishes her career as third-best hitter in school history (209) and seventh in runs scored (130), while also finishing tied for fifth in home runs (11) and seventh in runs batted in (104).
Laura Aguilar leaves Alabama State as the single-season hits leader (70 in 2016) and as the seventh best hitter in school history (192). The senior also finished 10th in runs scored (118) and 12th in stolen bases (53). Meanwhile, Brittney Wilson finished in the top 20 in hits (110) and the top 25 in stolen bases (26); while Therese Byrne finished her career as the single-game record holder with five steals in a single game (Alcorn State – 2017) while Diauna Nelson finished her career in the top 50 in hits.
Perry Hindi and Alexia Boggess both climbed the career charts this season, as Hindi finished in the top 25 in hits (92), runs scored (55) and runs batted in (51); while also finishing tied for ninth in home runs (nine). Meanwhile, Boggess finished in the top 25 in hits (91), runs (56) and runs batted in (48); while also finishing tied for 12th in home runs (seven).
The 2017 senior class helped Alabama State to their first-ever Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championship and NCAA Regional berth last season, and this year helped the team secure their first-ever postseason win as part of the National Invitational Softball Championships (NISC).