🥎 Jayhawks Rally but Fall to No. 9 Texas, 10-8
AUSTIN, Texas – Kansas softball scored three runs in the second and tied the game with five runs in the fifth but it wasn’t enough as the Jayhawks fell to No. 9 Texas in the series finale on Sunday afternoon, 10-8.
Following the loss, Kansas falls to 22-20 overall and 2-10 in the Big 12. Texas improves to 35-6 and 9-3 in Big 12 play.
Macy Omli led the Jayhawks going 2-for-4 from the plate and brought in a career-high four RBIs.
Texas got on the board in the bottom of the first inning with a single run crossing home but KU struck back quick.
In the top of the second, Cheyenne Hornbuckle and Shelby Gayre led off with back-to-back singles. Both runners advanced a base into scoring position off a wild pitch. Tarin Travieso loaded the bases with a walk and Brittany Jackson hit a sac fly to bring Hornbuckle home and level it 1-1.
Momentum didn’t stop there as Macy Omli brought in Gayre and Travieso off a two-RBI double into left center. The inning ended with the Jayhawks holding a 3-1 lead.
The Longhorns bounced back scoring five runs in the bottom of the second off KU’s Kasey Hamilton in the circle and a couple errors by the Jayhawk defense. Kansas switched pitchers to Hailey Reed with only one out and Reed picked up the final two outs of the inning including striking out a batter looking.
The Jayhawks looked to strike back in the top of the fourth with Travieso leading off with a line drive into right field. She advances to second off a sac bunt from Haleigh Harper and Jackson drew a walk to put two on with one out. The Jayhawks would go on to load the bases with two outs but not get anyone home to end the top of the fourth.
Texas scored twice in the fourth inning to extend its lead to 8-3.
Kansas pushed back in the top of the fifth beginning with Madison Hirsch drawing a walk. She advanced to third off a single by Cheyenne Hornbuckle who was tagged out at second in an attempt to take extra bases. Gayre was hit by a pitch to take first and was replaced by Lyric Moore as a pinch runner. With runners on the corners and one out, Travieso picked up a walk to load the bases.
Freshman Sophia Buzard delivered a two-RBI single into right field to score Hirsch and Moore and cut the Longhorn’s lead down to 8-5. Harper would run for Buzard at first as Peyton Renzi pinch ran for Travieso at second as Jackson kept momentum going at the plate with a single into right center to score Renzi. Omli continued to dominate at the plate to level the score 8-8 with a single into left center bringing home Harper and Jackson.
The Longhorns reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth hitting back-to-back home runs that clinched their 10-8 win.
Reed pitched 3.2 innings and struck out two Longhorns as she fell to 7-5 on the year. Hamilton started and pitched 1.1 innings before being replaced. Goff pitched the final inning with one strikeout.
Quoting Jennifer McFalls
“I’m proud of this team’s fight. It’s something we have worked hard at all season long: to piece things together for a full seven innings. I kept telling the team that the game wasn’t over so to continue to get to the Longhorn’s bullpen was important for us down the stretch. We kept grinding and finding ways to push runs across. I saw pure grit out of Macy Omli in the second spot. She’s done everything we’ve needed her to do all weekend. She executed the sac bunt to move Brittany Jackson, and she has been on fire and locked in. It was great to see her come up with the big hits and RBIs when needed shows that she has developed into a tough out for any team to face. If we continue to play like we did today, we will find ways to win the next two series.”
Kansas will conclude regular-season road games with a three-game series in Waco, Texas taking on Baylor. Action is slated to begin on Friday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m. on the Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ before continuing on Saturday, May 1 at 2 p.m. and concluding on Sunday, May 2 at noon.