🥎 Jayhawks Drop Series Opener to Cyclones

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomore Madison Hirsch hit her fifth home run of the season but Kansas softball (22-24, 2-14 Big 12) drops the opening game of a three-game series to Iowa State (29-19, 4-12 Big 12), 9-3, on Friday night at Arrocha Ballpark.

Five Jayhawks contributed to KU’s six hits against the Cyclones with Shelby Gayre leading Kansas with two. Ashlyn Anderson, Morgyn Wynne, Hirsch and Peyton Renzi tallied one each.

Despite the Jayhawks dropping the game, Kansas was the first team to get on the board. In the bottom of the first inning, KU loaded the bases with two outs. Cheyenne Hornbuckle stepped to the plate and drew a walk to bring Anderson home and give the Jayhawks a 1-0 lead.

The Jayhawks attempted to extend their lead in the bottom of the second after Renzi singled and advanced to third as Macy Omli reached on an error. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks weren’t able to capitalize on the runners.

In the third inning, Iowa State tied the game after a batter led off with a single and advanced around to eventually reach home on a throwing error by the Kansas defense.

KU bounced back in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot from Hirsch down the third-base line to give Kansas a 2-1 lead.

The Cyclones came back and scored seven runs in the fourth after getting the leadoff runner on off an error. ISU went on to load the bases and the leadoff runner scored. The Jayhawks pickup up two quick outs with the bases loaded, including a strike out thrown by sophomore Tatum Goff but got four more runs across before the Jayhawks made a pitching change to senior Hannah Todd. ISU scored two more runs before the Jayhawks were able to end the inning off a strikeout by Todd.

Kansas got one run back in the fifth off a rally that began with Wynne hitting a double into right center. Gayre advanced her to third and put runners on the corners with no outs off a single into right field. Kaitlyn Gee came in to pinch hit and was ruled out on the next play due to interference as Hirsch reached first safely.

With runners on the corners, Hornbuckle drew her second walk of the game to load the bases. Lyric Moore pinch hit and reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Wynne. After five, Kansas trailed 8-3.

The Cyclones added one more run in the seventh off a solo home run to drop the Jayhawks in the opening game of the series, 9-3.

Goff pitched 3.2 innings with two strikeouts and falls to 7-5 on the season after the loss. Todd pitched the final 3.1 innings and picked up three strikeouts to bring her season total to 19.

Up Next

Action will continue at Arrocha Ballpark tomorrow afternoon as the Jayhawks take on the Cyclones in the second game of the series beginning at 2 p.m. The game will play host to Kansas’ Senior Day where KU will honor six seniors from the 2020 class prior to the game. The Jayhawks will then honor five 2021 senior student-athletes and two managers at the conclusion of the game.