🥎 Kansas Splits Thursday Action at THE Spring Games

LEESBURG, Fla. – The Kansas softball team split its games against UC Riverside and Coastal Carolina Thursday night. After KU fell 7-5 to UCR, the Jayhawks bounced back and came away with a 4-1 win against Coastal Carolina.

After Kansas tied the game at 5-5 after scoring four runs in the fifth against UC Riverside, the Highlanders broke the tie in the seventh. UCR improved to 3-2. Kansas came back with an impressive 4-1 win over Coastal Carolina later that night, highlighted by an inside-the-park home run by Sophia Buzard. Kansas moved to 3-4-1, while Coastal Carolina fell to 4-2.

“It’s a long season,” said Head Coach Jennifer McFalls after the game. “I loved our response tonight. We’re fighting and battling and sometimes you just need a little luck to fall your way. Every team that we face is good. It can be anybody’s night and any given day, and I’m just really proud of some players. Sophia Buzard stepped up when her name was called and answered for us. We just need to keep celebrating the little things and doing things right. I thought Katie Brooks responded really well for us in game two and gave us a big win.”


Kansas was the first to get a runner across home after Olivia Bruno hit a hard groundball to second, scoring Hailey Cripe. UC Riverside scored the next four runs, however, including three in the second frame.

In the second, the Highlanders loaded the bases after Kasey Hamilton walked the first two batters of the inning and allowed a hard-hit single to right. Kansas was able to get the first out of the inning after forcing it at the plate, but with the bases still loaded, UCR managed a sacrifice-fly to tie the game 1-1.

With runners on second and third, UC Riverside smoked a double down the left field line to clear the bases and take a 3-1 lead into the third. In the second, Hamilton sat down the first two batters of the inning due to a strikeout and a flyout. Following a two-out walk, Hamilton hit the next with a pitch to put runners on first and second. A single down the right field line was enough to get another run across, extending UCR’s lead to 4-1.

UC Riverside added one more in the fifth, before Kansas was finally able to get more runs across in the bottom half of the fifth, as it tied the game at five apiece. Singles by Lyric Moore and Presley Limbaugh got the inning started, followed by a Bruno walk to load the bases. Campbell Bagshaw came through in the clutch as she smoked a triple to right center to clear the bases. A wild pitch in the next at-bat scored Bagshaw to make the score 5-5.

The Highlanders got the go-ahead run in the seventh before they added one more later in the frame as they walked away with a 7-5 victory over the Jayhawks.


Win: Maddie Heinlein (1-2)

Final Line: IP: 2.0, H: 3, R: 1, BB: 2, SO: 2

Loss: Olivia Bruno (0-1)

Final Line: IP: 2.1, H: 2, R: 3, BB: 3, SO: 0


Katie Brooks added another quality start in the circle after throwing three-straight scoreless innings to open the game. Kansas was also kept scoreless until the fourth, when Bruno opened the frame with a single and advanced to second after a sacrifice-bunt from Bagshaw. Addison Purvis contributed with a single up the middle, which was enough to get Bruno across home plate to break the tie and give KU a 1-0 lead.

Coastal Carolina tied the game in the bottom half of the fourth after it opened the inning with a double. Following back-to-back strikeouts, CCU singled down the left field line to get its first run across.

Kansas responded in the next inning after Limbaugh opened the frame with a single of her own. A sacrifice-bunt and a Moore walk put runners on the corners. Coastal Carolina made its first error of the game which scored Limbaugh from third to give KU a 2-1 lead.

The seventh inning was full of drama. In her second at-bat of the season, Sophia Buzard blasted a fly ball that traveled over the right fielder’s head and raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run. With runners on first and second, Kansas added another insurance run after Bagshaw singled through the left side to give Kansas a 4-1 advantage.

Brooks pitched a complete game as she and the defense behind her forced three-straight outs to end the game at 4-1.


Win: Katie Brooks (3-0)

Final Line: IP: 7.0, H: 5, R: 1, BB: 1, SO: 5

Loss: Nicolette Picone (1-1)

Final Line: IP: 6.2, H: 8, R: 4, BB: 4, SO: 4


The Jayhawks will play in another double-header Friday, February 16, as they take on Penn State and Illinois at Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex in Leesburg, Florida. Fans can catch the action on FloSports.