PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico — Kansas closed out the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge at with a 2-1 win over Ole Miss on Saturday night at Nancy Almaraz Stadium.
The Jayhawks improved to 6-4 on the season and 3-2 in tournament play, thanks to a quality start from junior pitcher Kasey Hamilton.
Both starting pitchers – Hamilton and Aynslie Furbush— started off the game hot, with Hamilton allowing no hits in the top of the first and Furbush allowing one hit in the bottom half.
The Jayhawks got on the board first, after freshman first baseman Olivia Bruno hit a single back up the middle. Junior utility player Savanna DesRochers hit her second home run of the season, hugging the left-field foul pole for a two-run shot, giving KU a 2-0 lead in the top-half of the second.
Hamilton was able to throw 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Rebels. In the circle, Hamilton tied a season-high retiring eight batters on strikes, allowing eight hits and walking three. She collected her second win of the season.
Freshman relief pitcher Lizzy Ludwig came in for relief with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, throwing a wild pitch, allowing the runner on third to advance home, cutting Kansas’ lead down to 2-1. Ludwig was able to collect the final out of the game on a routine groundout to freshman second baseman Emma Tatum, securing the victory for the Jayhawks.
“I love the way we finished the last two games, especially when I go back and think about how we started,” said Head Coach Jennifer McFalls. “I knew that this was going to be a long trip, and I knew that it’s going to be one game at a time. The biggest thing I’ve seen is our confidence growing and our players truly starting to believe in their ability to compete at a high level. So excited about our team effort tonight.”
Senior third baseman Ashlyn Anderson finished with two hits in four at-bats. Along with her hit in the second, Bruno also collected a solid two walks in the contest.
Ole Miss fell to 6-4.
Kansas will travel to San Marcos, Texas to compete in the Texas State Classic against Texas-Arlington, Texas State, UTSA, Colorado State and Texas Southern Feb. 24-26.