🥎 Kansas Knocks Off No. 20 James Madison to Close Out Weekend
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Kansas softball rounded out its Clearwater Elite Invitational with a 12-2 upset victory over No. 20 James Madison and a 5-4 loss to No. 21 Northwestern in the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
Game One vs. No. 21 Northwestern
The Jayhawks and the Wildcats opened up Saturday’s matchups with a back-and-forth affair. Both teams found themselves tied at two after three innings of play before Kansas was able to take the game’s largest lead. In the bottom of the fourth inning, junior Brittany Jackson singled home two runs to give KU a 4-2 advantage.
Northwestern responded in the top of the fifth inning by pushing across three runs of their own, courtesy of a double and sacrifice fly. The Jayhawks had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning as they looked for their first walk-off victory of the season but grounded out to third base to for the game’s final out.
Game Two vs. No. 20 James Madison
Despite falling short in the first game of the day, Kansas carried the momentum that they had been gathering from its game against Northwestern into its game against the Dukes. James Madison was looking to put together a big first inning with the bases loaded and no outs, having already put one run on the board. However, freshman Tatum Goff responded with three straight strikeouts to get Kansas out of the inning and gain some momentum for the KU offense.
The Jayhawks would then score the next six runs to take a 6-1 lead heading into the third inning. After both teams traded runs in the third, KU’s offense put together another big inning in the fourth, scoring five runs to take a 12-2.
"I think that we really wrapped up our momentum from game one against Northwestern and used it against James Madison. It was a little shaky start in the first inning, but after Tatum [Goff] set them down with bases loaded we had some confidence. Getting the leadoff triple from Brittany Jackson helped set the tone for us as we were able to answer right back. I think that is what we are starting to do is being able to respond and realize that we have just as good of hitters. All in all, I think everything fell in place for us against James Madison. I think we are feeling really confident right now."Head Coach Jennifer McFalls
Freshman Tatum Goff received the first win of her career against the Dukes, finishing the game with a career-best eight strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work.
"Getting out of the first inning the way we did I think really helped boost our confidence. Everybody started working together in all three areas of the game. I think everything we learned from playing tough competition started to show in this game."Freshman Tatum Goff
- Junior Brittany Jackson finished a combined 2-for-4 (.500) with two RBI and two runs scored in the Jayhawks two games.
- Redshirt sophomore Shelby Gayre went 2-for-2 (1.000) with two home runs and three RBI in the teams win over the Dukes. This was the first time in her career that Gayre has hit two home runs in a game.
- Redshirt sophomore Sydnee Ramsey went a combined 3-for-7 (.429) in the two games and finished with two RBI on the day.
- Senior Sam Dellinger went 2-for-4 (.500) with three RBI and two runs in her two starts.
- Kansas will travel to Arlington, Texas to compete in the Boerner Invitational Feb. 21-23. While there, the Jayhawks will compete against the University of Texas at San Antonio, Rutgers and the University of Texas at Arlington.