🥎 Mills Throws Complete Game in Jayhawks Win
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Sparked by a huge sixth inning offensively and a complete-game pitching performance from Lexy Mills, Kansas softball defeated Northwestern State, 6-0, on the final day of the Wooo Pig Classic.
The Jayhawks recorded nine hits on the day led by Sydnee Ramsey going 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Madison Hirsch followed with two hits and one run scored, while four other Jayhawks tallied a hit. With the win, Kansas improved to 9-5, while Northwestern State fell to 6-7.
“We had great energy all day long,” head coach Jennifer McFalls said. “I’m the proud that we stayed the course today. We didn’t quit and showed how much fight we have. It’s taking a team effort both offensively and defensively. We have a lot of power in our lineup and a lot of ability to score a lot of runs, we just have to figure out how to get it started a little sooner.”
Through the first five innings, the Jayhawks tabbed four hits but the bats came alive in the top of the sixth.
Redshirt junior Shelby Gayre ignited the torch for the Jayhawks with a solo-home run out of left field to begin the inning and jump her home run total to 26 in her career at KU. Hirsch and Morgyn Wynne followed with a single and double, respectively, to put runners on second and third before Miranda Rodriguez drew a walk to load the bases with no outs.
Ashlyn Anderson stepped up and hit one at NSU’s shortstop who made a fielding error allowing all the base runners to advance and Hirsch to score.
With bases still loaded and only one out, Ramsey and Brittany Jackson recorded back-to-back singles to bring in two more runs and push the Jayhawks lead to 4-0.
Two batters later, Gayre returned to the plate for the second time in the sixth and drew an RBI walk to score Anderson. Ramsey was the final Jayhawk to score that inning after heading home on a passed ball to give Kansas a 6-0 lead.
“I think we were hoping to get off to a little faster start,” McFalls said. “It took us a little longer to get on track. Getting that big hit from Shelby was the spark that we needed today to get it going. Hitting is contagious and she opened up the door for us to take care of business after that.”
Everyone was on a no-hitter watch for Mills in the circle as she pitched 6.1 innings before Northwestern State got a hard hit through the right side. The Lady Demons went on to get a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh before Mills picked up her seventh and eighth strikeouts of the day to give KU the 6-2 victory.
“Lexy was really good today,” McFalls said. “I was very proud of her for being able to finish the game for seven innings. She had a chance to throw a no-hitter, and we were all holding our breath for her. I think today was more about confidence for her and proving to herself that she can do this.”
Mills pitched her seventh-career complete game and first of the 2021 season to improve to 1-0.
“I can tell we are moving in the right direction,” McFalls said. “I’m proud of them for trying to find a way to improve every day and getting ourselves ready for conference. We are gaining confidence as a team and figuring out what each player’s role is. It will be nice to be home for the next three weeks and be able to settle in to help further prepare for conference play.”
Kansas returns to Lawrence next week to open the home slate hosting South Dakota State in a double header on Thursday, March 11 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. before hosting the Rock Chalk Challenge beginning on March 12.