🥎 Jayhawks Take Down No. 8 Texas in Austin
AUSTIN, Texas – For the first time since 2016, Kansas Softball defeated No. 8 Texas, downing the Longhorns 9-3 in the opening game of a three-game Big 12 series Friday night at Red & Charline McCombs Field.
Kansas improves to 20-7 (2-5 Big 12) on the year while dropping Texas to 34-9-1 (6-4 Big 12). The win snaps a 15-game losing streak for the Jayhawks against UT. The second game of the series will be played on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. CT.
The Jayhawks prevailed over Texas behind a complete game from junior left hander Kasey Hamilton in the circle and two home runs from sophomore Olivia Bruno.
“We’ve been talking about how close we were,” Head Coach Jennifer McFalls said following the victory. “We weren’t caught up in rankings or anything like that. Texas is a great program, we obviously know they’re in the top-10. The whole focus was on us this week and our plan of attack. I had one word for them before the game, ‘believe’, and they just had to trust themselves. We got it from everywhere tonight, in the circle, offensively and defensively. Just really proud of our fight. Total team effort tonight.”
The Jayhawks got the bats going quick. Senior center fielder Shayna Espy swung at the first pitch of the night, hitting it off the wall for a stand-up double. Freshman left fielder Presley Limbaugh drew a walk in the next at-bat, which was followed by a three-run blast over the left field fence from Bruno, giving Kansas a 3-0 in the top of the first.
The Jayhawks added three more runs in the top of the third to build a 6-0 advantage. Bruno hit her second home run of the game and seventh of the season in her second at-bat. The solo home run which made it 4-0 was followed by a single and a stolen base by junior catcher Lyric Moore.
Senior third baseman Ashlyn Anderson reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a wild throw by the shortstop. That error also scored Moore from second. After a groundout advanced Anderson to third, junior utility player Savanna DesRochers singled to left, extending the Jayhawks lead to 6-0.
Texas was able to get runs across in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a pair of doubles and a fielder’s choice, cutting Kansas’ lead to 6-2.
KU responded in the top of the fifth with two runs. Anderson drew a walk, which gave freshman outfielder Aynslee Linduff a chance to put down a sacrifice bunt and with no one covering third, Anderson advanced two bases. DesRochers played small ball, laying down a suicide squeeze to score Anderson. DesRochers advanced to second on the play and eventually reached third and scored on a pair of wild pitches, which put Kansas up 8-2 in the fifth.
The Longhorns added another run in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to a sacrifice fly with a runner on third.
Heading into the top of the seventh, KU held an 8-3 lead, but senior outfielder Peyton Renzi would hit Kansas’ third home run of the game to left, adding a run and increasing the Jayhawk’s lead to 9-3.
- Kansas defeated a top-10 conference opponent on the road for the first time since April 24, 2022 at #4 Nebraska (3-2).
- The last time Kansas earned two ranked wins on the road in the same season was 2005 (#15 Missouri and #24 Nebraska).
- The last time the Jayhawks earned two ranked wins was 2013 (#21 Baylor and #1 Oklahoma).
- Olivia Bruno ties her career-high with two home runs in the same game (vs. Long Beach State, Feb. 9, 2023).
- Kasey Hamilton recorded her third complete game of the season and tenth of her career.
The Jayhawks will face off in the second game of the series against No. 8 Texas Saturday at 4:30 p.m. CT on the Longhorn Network.