🥎 Jayhawks Record 19 Hits En Route to Two Wins
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball recorded 19 hits and scored 14 runs across two games to take both of its games on day one of the Jayhawk Invitational at Arrocha Ballpark.
Kansas (13-8) defeated Tulsa (5-5) in the afternoon game before taking down North Dakota State (5-12) in the evening matchup.
Sophomore Madison Hirsch led the charge with four hits and two RBIs. Morgyn Wynne and Brittany Jackson each recorded three hits on the day and had four and three RBIs, respectively.
Game One vs. Tulsa – Won 3-1
The Jayhawks got runners on early in the first inning, but it wasn’t until the second inning Kansas was able to get a runner home.
It began with sophomore Ashlyn Anderson reaching on a fielding error by the Golden Hurricane’s third baseman. Macy Omli followed with a double into left center with two outs to bring Anderson home and give KU the 1-0 lead.
Tulsa attempted to make a comeback in the top of the third and fourth innings by getting two runners on with only one out, but KU’s defense held strong on both occasions to end the inning with back-to-back outs.
In the top of the sixth, Tulsa hit a solo-home run to tie the game, 1-1 but Hirsch struck back in the bottom of the inning with a home run of her own to reclaim the Jayhawks lead.
Action continued in the sixth with Wynne hitting a single up the middle with no outs. Peyton Renzi came in to pinch run for her and advanced to second off a Tarin Travieso sac bunt and then advanced to third as Tulsa picked up the second out. Renzi scored on a wild pitch to push the Jayhawks lead by two runs after six.
Kansas’ defense shut things down in the top of the seventh forcing Tulsa down in order to capture a 3-1 victory.
Sophomore Tatum Goff picked up the victory for the Jayhawks after throwing her fifth complete game of the season. She improves to 5-1 on the year after only allowing three hits after facing 27 batters.
Game Two vs. North Dakota State – Won 11-9
The Jayhawks looked to get on the board early in the second game after loading the bases in the bottom of the first inning. KU left the runners on to end the first inning but came back defensively in the top of the second to turn a 6-4-3 double play.
KU was able to take 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second that started with Haleigh Harper hitting a single through the left side. Omli reached on a fielder’s choice as Harper was safe at second due to an error. Sydnee Ramsey also reached on a fielder’s choice as Omli was out at second, but with runners on the corners, Jackson singled to score Harper.
North Dakota State came back in the top of the third scoring four runs off some early walks. After the bases were loaded, Kansas made a pitching change to bring in Kasey Hamilton who picked up the last two outs of the inning but KU trailed, 4-1, midway through three.
The Jayhawks cut NDSU’s lead in half in the bottom of the inning after Anderson doubled with one out and Lyric Moore singled to the second baseman to bring Anderson in.
The bats stayed out for Kansas in the bottom of the fourth. KU scored seven runs off of six hits that started after Omli drew a leadoff walk. Ramsey hit a double down the left-field line to put two in scoring position for Jackson to send a double into left center and bring them both home. Hirsch followed with a single into right field to score Jackson and Wynne hit a two-run homer out of left center to clear the bases with no outs.
Anderson followed with a single into right center and was brought home by a triple from Travieso. Travieso scored off a sac fly from Harper to give KU a 9-4 lead after four.
The Bison scored three in the fifth to attempt to catch the Jayhawks lead, but Kansas scored two more in the bottom half of the inning as Hirsch hit a two-out double and Wynne hit her second two-run homer, this time out of right field. Kansas held the 11-7 lead heading to the seventh inning.
NDSU scored twice in the top of the seventh and looked to get more before the Kansas defense was able to close the door and capture the 11-9 victory.
Hamilton earned the win for the Jayhawks in the circle to improve to 2-3. Lexy Mills pitched 2.1 innings to start the game and Hailey Reed closed out the evening action with 2.0 innings pitched.
QUOTING JENNIFER MCFALLS
“I was proud of our response in the second game. I kept waiting for things to break open in the first game against Tulsa and it never did. We were able to grab a win over a good team like Tulsa so it was nice to see a good week of practice paid off. In the second game, our bats came alive for us. We gave up a few errors that cost us some runs but our bats kept us in it. We have to continue to focus on us and work towards playing clean games.
We have a really strong left side of our field with Sydnee (Ramsey) and Ashlyn (Anderson). Both of them have elevated their play and made crucial outs for us when we need it. Our defense continues to provide momentum pieces that we are able to grab onto and carry into other aspects of our game. They have confidence to turn double plays and know when to look for those opportunities. Nothing is more exciting than watching them complete it.”
STATS OF THE DAY
The double play that was turned in the second inning of the NDSU game was the eighth double play Kansas has turned this season. Sydnee Ramsey has been involved in every double play this season.
After getting a single hit against Tulsa and two against NDSU, junior Morgyn Wynne is on a nine-game hitting streak and has 24 RBIs this season. The two home runs against NDSU marks the third time in her career she has hit two homers in a game, the last time being against Rutgers in 2020.
Kansas in back tomorrow for the second day of the Jayhawk Invitational taking on South Dakota at 12:30 p.m. and North Dakota State at 3:00 p.m.