🥎 Jayhawks Win Both Games on the Last Day of the Candrea Classic
TUCSON, Ariz. – Kansas won back-to-back games against Long Beach State and NC State on the last day of the Candrea Classic on Saturday, defeating Long Beach State, 9-8, on a Savanna DesRochers walk-off double, followed by a convincing 12-4 victory over NC State.
After holding Long Beach State scoreless in the top of the first, senior center fielder Shayna Espy got the Jayhawks going with a single up the middle. Junior catcher Lyric Moore followed Espy’s single up with a two-run home run to left, her second home run in four games.
Long Beach State took the lead in the second, bringing home three runs off of one hit, four walks and a fielding error by the Jayhawks. Kansas tied the game in the bottom of the third, after sophomore first baseman Olivia Bruno doubled to center, bringing home senior third baseman Ashlyn Anderson.
After junior pitcher Savanna DesRochers struck out the first batter in the top of the fourth, the Beach produced back-to-back hits. After a grounder to first, the runner on third came home, giving Long Beach State the lead with two runners on. After a fielding error by senior shortstop Haleigh Harper, the Beach were able to score another runner, giving them a two-run lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.
The Jayhawks were able to regain the lead in the fourth inning, after Espy knocked a single up the middle, scoring Harper. With the bases loaded, Moore was hit by a pitch, bringing a runner in to tie the game at 5-5. DesRochers was able to score after a wild pitch, giving KU a one-run lead at 6-5 heading into the fifth.
After both teams were held scoreless in the fifth, Long Beach State was able to retake the lead, hitting a two-run home run to right. In the bottom of the sixth, Moore hit her second home run of the contest, tying the game at seven and giving Moore her first career multi-homer game.
With the score tied in the seventh inning, Long Beach State hit a solo-home run with their first at bat of the inning, giving the Beach a one-run lead. Kansas was able to halt Long Beach State for the rest of the inning, going into the bottom of the seventh down one run, 8-7.
After Espy hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at eight runs a piece, DesRochers hit a walk-off double to secure the win for the Jayhawks.
In the second game of the afternoon, Kansas fell behind early to NC State, trailing four runs after the top of the first. The Jayhawks were able to respond in the same inning, after Moore hit a double to right to bring in Kansas’ first run of the game.
Trailing 4-1 in the second, freshman outfielder Presley Limbaugh hit a sacrifice to the pitcher, bringing in Harper. KU got hot in the third, scoring seven runs off of seven hits. Anderson started the scoring in the third inning with her third home run of the season to bring NC State’s lead down to 4-3.
With runners on the corner, sophomore second baseman Sara Roszak doubled to left, bringing in Moore. The Jayhawks hit three straight singles, bringing home three more runs to take over the lead at 7-3. Kansas would bring its lead to 9-4 at the end of the fourth inning.
After bringing home three runs in the bottom of the fifth, the Jayhawks forced the run rule against NC State, securing their second victory of the day.
The Jayhawks conclude their opening weekend at the Candrea Classic with a 3-2 record, defeating NC State twice and Long Beach State once.
The Jayhawks will be back in action on Feb. 15-18 when they play in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.