🥎 Jayhawks Snap 3-Game Skid With Pair of Wins Saturday
TAMPA, Fla. – The Kansas softball team won back-to-back games against Northern Illinois (5-9) and Rhode Island (1-7) Saturday, ending its three-game losing streak and improving to 12-8 on the season.
“We obviously didn’t get off to a good start in this tournament like we were planning to,” said Head Coach Jennifer McFalls. “Our goal was to finish strong, and we came out and made a statement today. It’s time to get home, get back to practice and get back to work.”
Game 1: Kansas 5, Northern Illinois 0
The Jayhawks got off to a hot start in the top of the first. After freshman Presley Limbaugh got on thanks to an error by Northern Illinois’ second baseman, junior Lyric Moore hit her fifth home run of the season to center, clearing the bases and giving Kansas a 2-0 lead.
Kansas would add to its lead in the top of the third, with runners on second and third and sophomore Olivia Bruno at the dish. Bruno hit a deep sacrifice fly to center, which scored senior Shayna Espy. The Jayhawks increased their lead to 3-0.
In the top of the fifth, Kansas would increase the lead to 5-0, thanks to a Bruno double down the left field line, bringing Limbaugh and senior Peyton Renzi home.
Junior Kasey Hamilton had another quality start in the circle, throwing five scoreless innings. She gave up five hits and one walk, retiring four batters on strikeouts. Hamilton improved her record to 4-2.
Bruno finished the game with two hits and three RBIs.
Game 2: Kansas 6, Rhode Island 1
Sophomore Katie Brooks started the game in the circle, throwing three-straight scoreless innings. Neither team was able to get a run across until the third.
The Jayhawks got on the board first, scoring three runs in the bottom of the third. Renzi notched her first hit of the year and stole second, putting herself in scoring position. Espy hit a single to center, which brought Renzi across home. After a single and a bunt loaded the bases, Bruno was walked, bringing another run across. Senior Ashlyn Anderson hit a sacrifice fly to center, increasing Kansas’ lead to 3-0 in the third.
In the top of the fourth, the Rhode Island Rams got on the board thanks to a sacrifice bunt, which scored the runner on third. The Jayhawks were able to keep the Rams scoreless for the remainder of the game.
In the top of the fifth, freshman Hailey Cripe hit a three-run home run to right, her second home run of the season. The Jayhawks now led 6-1.
Junior Savanna DesRochers came in for relief in the sixth, throwing two scoreless innings. She allowed no hits, two walks and struck out three batters.
Brooks improved to 2-2, allowing two hits, three walks and four strikeouts.
The Jayhawks will host their first tournament of the season when it welcomes No. 14 Stanford and Central Arkansas to Arrocha Ballpark in Lawrence, Kansas on March 10-11.