🥎 Gayre, Anderson Homer as Kansas Clinches Series over Roos
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Redshirt junior Shelby Gayre and sophomore Ashlyn Anderson hit home runs and Angela Price recorded her first-career hit as the Jayhawks claimed a 7-3 victory over Kansas City on Saturday. The afternoon win secured the series for KU over the Roos.
Following the victory, Kansas improves to 19-15 on the year as Kansas City falls to 18-15. KU’s Hailey Reed picked up the win in the circle improving to 6-2 this season after pitching 4.0 innings with three strikeouts. Kansas’ Kasey Hamilton pitched 2.2 innings of relief to earn her first save.
The Jayhawks were fighting from behind after Kansas City scored one in the first inning.
KU responded in the bottom of the first after Brittany Jackson reached on a dropped ball in the outfield and Morgyn Wynne hit a single to put two on with one out. Cheyenne Hornbuckle kept her weekend hot streak alive hitting a double through the left side to score Jackson. After one, KU and KC were tied, 1-1.
The Roos reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth with a solo home run. KC went on to load the bases that inning, but KU’s defense held off any further threats.
Kansas fought back in the bottom of the fourth as Anderson recorded her seventh home run of the season with a solo blast out of center. Tarin Travieso kept the momentum going with a single to center and was replaced by Peyton Renzi as a pinch runner. Renzi stole second to be in scoring position as Price knocked a single up the middle bringing Renzi home. Macy Omli executed a sac bunt to put Price in scoring position as Jackson sent a RBI double into left to score Price. The Jayhawks held a 4-2 lead after four.
The Roos attempted to close the lead by scoring a single run in the fifth but it wouldn’t stop KU’s momentum swing.
In the bottom half of the inning, Sydnee Ramsey reached on a fielder’s choice. She advanced to second and Wynne drew a walk to put two on with two outs for Gayre. Gayre blasted a home run out of right center to further extend KU’s lead and secure the 7-3 victory.
Hornbuckle led the team going 3-for-4 with one RBI. Wynne and Anderson added two hits as Jackson, Gayre, Traveiso and Price added one each.
Moment of the Game
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ramsey reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second with two outs. Kansas City decided to intentionally walk KU’s Wynne in the third spot to put two on with two outs and bring cleanup hitter, Shelby Gayre to the plate. With a 1-2 count, Gayre sent a three-run home run out of right center to extend KU’s lead. The homer was Gayre’s eighth of the season and 28th of her career in the Crimson and Blue.
Quoting Jennifer McFalls
“Shelby has been beating herself up a little since coming back from her injury. I know the type of player she is and it was only a matter of time until she got back on track. You could tell the hit today provided her the confidence to mentally get back to a position where she’s trusting what she’s doing at the plate. She works hard and has the ability to step in and get those type of big hits for us.
When it came to Angela’s hit in the fourth, I knew called her up as a pinch hitter because she is normally one of our better bunters, and I was hoping to utilize the short game. In that situation, we didn’t execute the bunt but I told her I needed to have a ball put in play to advance runners. She did something even better than that by getting a base hit and bringing one home. She’s so excited, and I’m so excited for her. Our young players have to keep trusting that when they get called on, they will be ready and respond. We saw that she was able to handle the pressure and come out and compete for us.”
Kansas is back in action on Tuesday, April 13 in Columbia, Missouri to take on Mizzou at 4 p.m. (CT) broadcasted on the SEC Network on ESPN+. KU will return to Big 12 action on Friday, April 16 for a three-game series against Texas Tech at Arrocha Ballpark. Friday’s game is slated for a 6 p.m. start with games to follow Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at noon.