🥎 Jayhawks Drop Monday Matchup at USF
TAMPA, Fla. – The Kansas softball team fell to USF 4-1 on Monday at USF Softball Stadium, thanks to a strong start from Bulls pitcher Payton Dixon.
KU had offensive opportunities in key situations throughout, but left eight runners on base and batted .091 (1-11) with runners in scoring position. The Jayhawks loaded the bases in the first inning with one out for their best scoring chance, but Dixon got out of the inning and kept Kansas off the scoreboard.
USF eventually scored three runs in the fifth to break open a tie game and take the lead. The Jayhawks are now 2-3-1 after playing six games in four days, while USF moved to 4-2 on the year.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- In the first inning, Kansas loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a fielding error by USF. With only one out, the Jayhawks were unable to bring a run home.
- The Bulls took an early advantage in the second after Alanah Rivera hit a solo home run off of Kasey Hamilton, USF’s first hit of the evening, over the left field fence to take a 1-0 lead.
- KU answered back in the third with a run to knot the game at 1-1. Aynslee Linduff opened the frame with a single up the middle and Lyric Moore advanced her to second with a sacrifice bunt. In the next at-bat, Hailey Cripe smoked one right back up the middle for an RBI single to tie the game 1-1.
- With runners on the corners, NFCA Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team selection Katie Brooks entered the circle for relief, before intentionally walking the first batter she saw to load the bases. Brooks forced a ground ball back to herself as she quickly threw it home to get the force out. However, the go-ahead run crossed the plate on a hit by pitch. With the bases still loaded, USF singled to center to bring in two more runs as the Bulls took a 4-1 advantage into the sixth and held on from there for the win. Belle Sardja pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save for the Bulls.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Payton Dixon (2-0)
Final Line: IP: 5.0, H: 3, R: 1, BB: 4, SO: 4
Save: Belle Sardja (2)
Final Line: IP: 2.0, H: 0, R: 0, BB: 1, SO: 1
Loss: Kasey Hamilton (0-3)
Final Line: IP: 4.1, H: 4, R: 3, BB: 2, SO: 2
QUOTABLES & NOTABLES
“When we have runners in scoring position, we have got to capitalize. It’s been the same story and we are not executing and getting the timely hits that we need. We are putting a lot of pressure on our pitchers and defense to hold teams to less than two or three runs when we aren’t getting the job done. We have to step up, change the narrative with what’s going on with this team and we have to find a way to get better and get more mentally tough in the batter’s box.” — Head Coach Jennifer McFalls
Kansas will continue its time in Florida as it heads to Leesburg to compete in THE Spring Games February 15-17 at Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex. The Jayhawks will take on UC Riverside before four Big Ten opponents in Penn State, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio State. Fans can catch the action on FloSports.