🥎 Jayhawks Go 1-1 Friday Night

LEESBURG, Fla. – The Kansas softball team went 1-1 Friday at Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex in Leesburg, Florida, with an 8-7 victory over Illinois after a 4-5 loss to Penn State.

Entering the weekend, Penn State received votes in the NFCA coaches poll, as the Nittany Lions improved to 6-0. Illinois had gotten its first win of the season over Liberty, before it fell to Kansas and to 1-4. Kansas moved to 4-5-1 on the season.

“We’re competing, there’s no doubt we’re competing,” said Head Coach Jennifer McFalls after the game. “Kasey Hamilton is grinding and doing a great job for us in the circle. We just have to find a way to finish those close ones. We answered back and I thought we did a really nice job in game two by getting our bats to come through with timely hits. Obviously, it’s always a great opportunity to get some of our reserves and our younger kids in. We’re going to continue to try and figure out where we can get those answers right now. We’re close, we just have to figure out how to finish.”


The Nittany Lions scored early after getting their first three batters on base. Back-to-back singles and a hit-by pitch loaded the bases before a wild pitch and a throwing error by Kasey Hamilton scored the first two runners of the game as PSU took a 2-0 lead in the first.

The Jayhawks answered with an immediate response in the top of the second. With one out, Campbell Bagshaw drew a walk and Addison Purvis got her all the way around the bases with a RBI double to left center. With runners on the corners, Angela Price answered the bell and hit a clutch triple over the right fielder’s head to give KU a 3-2 lead. Kansas continued its scoring spurt in the second as Presley Limbaugh hit a RBI double to right to increase KU’s lead to 4-2.

Penn State had a good chance at adding another run in the third as it had runners on the corners with two outs but was stopped by great defense from Bagshaw at second, who ranged all the way into the 3-4 hole to make the tough out at first.

Penn State took the lead again in the bottom of the fifth. The first batter drew a walk and after a routine groundball, the third batter of the frame singled through the right side. After Hamilton’s seventh strikeout of the game, PSU singled to center and scored two to tie the game at four apiece. In the next at-bat, the Nittany Lions managed a double to take a 5-4 lead into the sixth.

Down one with one chance left, Limbaugh opened the seventh inning with a single through the left side but was thrown out at second when Aynslee Linduff reached on a fielder’s choice. Kansas was unable to tie the game as they fell 5-4 to Penn State.


Win: Bridget Nemeth (5-0)

Final Line: IP: 2.0, H: 2, R: 0, BB: 0, SO: 3

Loss: Kasey Hamilton (0-4)

Final Line: IP: 6.0, H: 5, R: 5, BB: 3, SO: 8


Illinois got the scoring started, as they scored one run in the first off a pair of singles and a Kansas error. Kansas responded in the bottom half of the frame, however, and added two runs of its own. Limbaugh opened the bottom half with a walk, followed by a single by Bagshaw to put runners on the corners. Hailey Cripe doubled to right-center to clear the bases and give KU an early 2-0 lead.

After allowing one run in the first, Katie Brooks continued to dominate the circle as she threw three-straight scoreless innings. The Jayhawks backed her up with a five-run, fourth inning that featured a double, two singles, a walk, two wild pitches and a fielding error by the Fighting Illini. The batting order went all the way around as Ashlyn Anderson, Abby Carsley and Limbaugh all recorded hits to extend Kansas’ lead to 7-1.

However, Illinois did not go away quietly. Lizzy Ludwig entered the circle in the fifth and threw a scoreless inning, but the Illini scored two runs in the sixth off two singles and a KU error to make cut KU’s lead down to 7-3. Sara Roszak added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth after blasting a solo home run over the left field wall to give Kansas eight total runs.

Illinois battled in the seventh, however. It opened the frame with back-to-back hits, a single and a double, to put runners on the corners. A passed ball got the Illini’s first run of the inning across, and another single put runners on first and third. Brooks re-entered the game to put it away, but two-straight singles gave Illinois three runs in the inning, before it added another off a sacrifice groundout. Brooks was able to get the final out with a swinging strikeout to give Kansas the 8-7 win over Illinois.


Win: Katie Brooks (4-0)

Final Line: IP: 5.0, H: 8, R: 3, BB: 1, SO: 5

Loss: Briana Bower (1-1)

Final Line: IP: 5.0, H: 7, R: 5, BB: 2, SO: 4


Kansas is set to play against two more Big Ten opponents in Iowa at 9 a.m. CT, before taking on Ohio State at 11:30 on Saturday, February 16 at Sleepy Hollow Complex. Fans can catch all the action on FloSports.