PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – The Kansas Softball team fell to Southern Illinois 5-2 at Nancy Almaraz Stadium in the first day of action at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.
Both starting pitchers – Katie Brooks from Kansas and Madi Eberle from Southern Illinois– got off to a fast start, each allowing just one run over the first three innings. Southern Illinois scored first in the opening inning, before Kansas responded in the top of the third. Savanna DesRochers reached on a fielding error and senior third baseman Ashlyn Anderson walked. Junior catcher Lyric Moore singled to the left field gap, bringing in DesRochers and knotting the game at a run apiece.
In the fourth, Kansas scored another run to take a 2-1 lead. Sophomore catcher Natalie Marshall hit a sacrifice fly to score junior pinch-runner Angela Price.
Following that run by the Jayhawks in the top of the fourth, Southern Illinois responded, scoring four runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Salukis had a three-run double in the inning to take control of the game, 5-2.
Neither the Jayhawks or Southern Illinois were able to get any more runs across the plate the rest of the game. Freshman pitcher Lizzy Ludwig was strong for the Jayhawks out of the bullpen, pitching 2.1 innings, allowing zero runs and striking out five batters, while allowing just two hits and one walk.
Moore finished 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Jayhawks, while Anderson drew a pair of walks. Kansas fell to 3-3 on the season with the loss, while Southern Illinois moved to 5-0. Kansas will look to get back over the .500 mark on Thursday against Cal State Fullerton at 10 a.m., back at Nancy Almaraz Stadium.