🥎 Jayhawks Win Both on Day Two in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Kansas softball (4-4) picked up two victories on Saturday with wins over Texas A&M Corpus Christi and the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA). The Jayhawks took down the Islanders in game one, 9-5, before capping the night with a 5-2 victory over the Roadrunners.
Kansas recorded 16 hits over the course of the two games, including seven home runs. From the circle, four pitchers combined for 23 strikeouts to help propel the Jayhawks to the two wins.
“We set the tone early on today,” stated head coach, Jennifer McFalls. “We never let off the gas pedal and that was something that was our focus all day long. We had quality at bats from multiple players up and down our lineup. I am proud of how locked-in each one of them was while at the plate.”
Game One vs. Texas A&M CC – Win 9-5
Texas A&M CC jumped out to an early lead despite junior, Lexy Mills, striking out the first two batters she faced. TAMCC hit a solo-shot to give the Islanders an early 1-0 lead.
The Jayhawks did not stay down for long as the top of the order delivered a big inning. It began with Sydnee Ramsey sitting a single into right field. She advanced into scoring position off a passed ball and scored the Jayhawks first run after Madison Hirsch hit a single. Hirsch followed by stealing second and was brought home off a Tarin Travieso home run over the center-field fence to give the Jayhawks the 3-1 lead.
The Islanders tied things up in the top of the second after the bases were loaded, but the Jayhawk defense held off any potential threats.
In the bottom of the third, Kansas loaded the bases and were able to score one run and reclaim a 4-3 lead with a sac fly from Jordan Richards.
KU’s Kasey Hamilton was able to deliver from the circle with back-to-back strikeouts in the fourth and another in the fifth to keep the Islander’s offense silent.
A pair of runs was exchanged between both teams in the bottom of the fifth and top of the sixth with Haleigh Harper hitting a two-out RBI single through the left side and the Islanders hitting a solo-home run.
The bottom of the sixth was KU’s most productive inning, beginning with Cheyenne Hornbuckle being walked as a pinch hitter and Ramsey getting hit by a pitch. The two baserunners allowed Hirsch to lay down a perfect sac bunt to advance the runners into scoring position for Travieso to deliver a two-RBI single down the right-field line to extend the Jayhawk lead by three. Morgyn Wynne followed with a two-run home run over the left field fence to take a 9-4 lead after six.
The Jayhawks made a pitching change to Hannah Todd to start the seventh inning. The bases became loaded and one run scored, but KU was able to close out the win with a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and win, 9-5.
Kasey Hamilton is credited with the win after pitching 4.0 innings with five strikeouts. Lexy Mills started in the circle and pitched 2.0 innings and struck out four batters. Todd earned her first save of the season with 1.0 innings pitched and picked up one strikeout.
Game Two vs. UTSA – Win 5-2
The evening game against UTSA became a home run clinic by Kansas as five different Jayhawks went yard.
Hirsch and Shelby Gayre got things going early for the Jayhawks each hitting solo home runs in the top of the first to put KU up 2-0. Hirsch’s homer was her first of the season and Gayre’s was the 25th of her career.
Ramsey kept things going in the third inning with a home run over the center-field fence to extend the Jayhawks lead to 3-0.
Sophomore Tatum Goff did her part in the circle to keep the Jayhawks in the game. Through the first two innings, Goff had picked up three strikeouts before getting Kansas out of a tough bases-loaded situation in the third with three strikeouts. She picked up another two in the fourth and in the fifth to bring her nightly total up to 10.
In the top of the sixth, Wynne and Ashlyn Anderson hit back-to-back home runs over the left-field fence to extend KU’s lead to 5-2. Goff held off UTSA’s advances in the bottom half of the inning picking up her 11th strikeout on the night.
Goff finished the evening with a new career-high 13 strikeouts getting the first and final outs of the seventh inning. Goff surpassed her previous high of eight strikeouts that was set last season against James Madison.
“It was a tremendous night for (Tatum) Goff,” said McFalls. “I’m so proud of her and her compete factor from the start to the finish. She never wanted to come out of the game and wanted the ball every inning. She had a different look about her and was having fun on the mound competing her tail off. It was something we needed from out pitcher tonight, so we are all really proud of her performance.”
Kansas returns to action Sunday, February 28th at 10 a.m. against UTA to conclude action at the 2021 UTSA Classic.