🥎 Kansas Softball Splits Saturday Contests
CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Kansas softball team split two more games Saturday at the NFCA Leadoff Classic at Eddie C. Moore Complex. The Jayhawks lost 2-1 to Indiana and responded with a 9-1 run rule win against Central Arkansas. Kansas moved to 2-2 on the season.
Both games were highlighted by KU’s top-two pitchers in Kasey Hamilton and Katie Brooks. Hamilton got her second start of the season against Indiana as she allowed just five hits and two runs in seven innings. She struck out four batters and walked two. Brooks earned the win against Central Arkansas after she threw five scoreless innings with four strikeouts and two hits allowed.
“First, I want to say that Kasey Hamilton threw a heck of a game for us today,” Kansas head coach Jennifer McFalls said. “I was incredibly proud of her performance today, especially coming off back-to-back days and a big game against Oregon yesterday. We have to find ways to continue to score more runs and get those Ws when their right in the palm of our hand. We did a lot of good things, but we just didn’t find ways to win, which is disappointing especially when you have a performance like Kasey had in the circle today. Again, I challenged them to answer back against UCA and I thought we did that tonight offensively. We settled into the plate a little bit, got more confident at the plate and took care of business.”
The Jayhawks nearly pulled off a comeback win the bottom of the seventh, but was stopped by Indiana’s Brianna Copeland, who earned the win in the circle. Kansas got on the board first in the third, thanks to a Presley Limbaugh walk, followed by a RBI single from Aynslee Linduff to left.
Hamilton kept the Hoosiers scoreless until the fifth. With runners on second and third, Hamilton intentionally walked to load the bases as the defense wanted the force out at the plate. However, Indiana hit a dribbler to Ashlyn Anderson at third and was able to reach home after Anderson took the out at first, notching the game 1-1.
Hamilton continued to deal through the sixth but let a go-ahead solo home run by Indiana’s Brooke Benson. KU entered the bottom half of the seventh down one run. Addison Purvis had a good start to the inning as she drew a walk and Kadence Stafford came on as a pinch runner. After a Kansas out, Sara Roszak smoked the ball back up the middle to move Stafford to second. In the next at-bat, Angela Price sent one right back at the pitcher, which prompted Kansas to wave Stafford home. A strong throw from IU’s center fielder caught Stafford at the plate and that was the last chance Kansas got to tie the game as the Jayhawks fell 2-1.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Brianna Copeland
Final Line: IP: 7.0, H: 4, R: 1, BB: 4, SO: 8
Loss: Kasey Hamilton
Final Line: IP: 7.0, H: 5, R: 2, BB: 2, SO: 4
Kansas got right back in the win column after taking care of business in its second game of the day against Central Arkansas, an NCAA Tournament team in 2023. KU scored nine runs on 13 hits, led by Campbell Bagshaw, who recorded two hits and three RBI.
The Jayhawks scored their first three runs in the second inning as Hailey Cripe opened the frame with a single through the left side. After two KU groundouts moved Cripe to third, Bagshaw secured the run with a single to left. Angela Price followed suit with a single of her own and a UCA throwing error moved Bagshaw to third. Price stole second before Limbaugh smoked a two-RBI single up the middle to increase KU’s lead to 3-0.
In the third and fourth, KU scored two more runs. Addison Purvis opened the bottom half of the third with a walk before Sophia Buzard came on to pinch run. Buzard was moved to third thanks to a single by Ashlyn Anderson. Roszak drew a walk with runners on the corners to give Bagshaw loaded bases at the plate. She took advantage and hit a sacrifice-fly to center to increase the Jayhawk lead to 4-0.
A pair singles from Limbaugh and Purvis gave Kansas another run to give the unit a 5-0 lead. Roszak opened the fifth with her first double of 2024 and Price laid down a textbook bunt and beat the throw at first to put runners on the corners. After Price stole second again, Savanna DesRochers singled to center which led to both runners scoring from second and third to give Kansas a comfortable 7-0 lead.
Central Arkansas was finally able to get a run across in the sixth, but Bagshaw hit a two-run double to force the run-rule in the sixth inning as Kansas walked away with a 9-1 victory.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Katie Brooks
Final Line: IP: 5.0, H: 2, R: 0, BB: 3, SO: 4
Loss: Julia Petty
Final Line: IP: 5.2, H: 13, R: 9, BB: 5, SO: 0
Kanas will look to finish the NFCA Leadoff Classic 3-2 as it takes on Western Kentucky Sunday, February 11, at 12 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed via GameChanger.