🥎 Jayhawks Drop First Game of Big 12 Play to UCF

ORLANDO, Fla. – Kansas fell 7-1 to UCF in the first game of Big 12 play at the UCF Softball Complex Friday night. 

After Kansas took an early 1-0 lead off a Lyric Moore home run, UCF scored seven-unanswered runs to claim its first victory in the Big 12 Conference. UCF’s Sarah Willis got it done in the circle and at the plate, as she threw a complete game and added two RBIs at the plate.

Kansas fell to 13-6-1 and 0-1 in the Big 12, while UCF improved to 13-7 (1-0 Big 12). 


  • Moore started off hot in the top of the first. She hit a moon shot over the left field fence to give Kansas the early 1-0 lead. Addison Purvis added a single with two outs but was left stranded as Kansas took the one-run lead into the bottom half of the first.
  • UCF responded in the bottom of the first. With runners on first and second, the Knights laced a single to left to tie the game at 1-1. UCF added three more runs off a double and a walk with loaded bases to take a 4-1 lead to the second.
  • Hamilton picked it up after a slow start. After the first inning, she threw five-straight scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the bottom of the sixth off a RBI single and a two-run home run as UCF took a 7-1 lead into the last inning.
  • Kansas added two hits after the first inning and was unable to come from behind as it fell 7-1 in its first game of the Big 12 season.
  • Moore finished the contest with two hits in two at-bats, along with one RBI and a walk. Purvis and Sara Roszak added a pair of singles to complete Kansas’ stat line. 

Win: Sarah Willis (4-3)
Final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 SO
Loss: Kasey Hamilton (4-5)
Final line: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 2 SO

“That’s why we play a three-game series. We have to learn from tonight. UCF played with a lot more passion than we did tonight. The energy was there for them and they fed off that. Sarah Willis is a great pitcher and she had her team fired up behind her. Hopefully, we have a better response and we learn from that tonight. We just have to play bigger and more competitive across the board. 

I thought Lyric (Moore) was fantastic tonight, just her poise, demeaner and consistency. Kasey Hamilton has pitched well all season. She had a tough first inning but outside of that, she responded really well. We have to find ways to answer back when those things happen, because every team we play in the Big 12 is going to swing it like that and be tough. That’s why you play seven innings and a three-game series.” – Head Coach Jennifer McFalls

  • This was the second time this season Kansas’ lone run came from a solo Moore home run (at Belmont, March 2).
  • Moore hit her fourth home run of the season, which is one less than what she finished 2023 with.

Kansas will take on UCF in the second game of the series Saturday, March 9, at 1 p.m. CT. Fans can catch the action via Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ or follow along live statistics throughout the contest. Fans are encouraged to follow the official Kansas Softball X Account for live updates throughout the game.