🥎 Kansas Sweeps Doubleheader Sunday at Arrocha Ballpark
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas softball team won back-to-back games Sunday against Nebraska and Kansas City at Arrocha Ballpark to extend its winning streak to five games.
The Jayhawks improved to 17-11 on the season, while the Cornhuskers fell to 19-9 and the Roos fell to 5-21. The five-game winning streak is the longest for the Jayhawks since sweeping the Jayhawk Invitational in 2021.
GAME ONE: Kansas 6, Nebraska 4
Both teams got going early in the first inning. Nebraska got on the board first, as the Cornhuskers got two across off of one hit, a home run over the right-center wall, and one error.
Kansas answered in the bottom half of the inning. Senior center fielder Shayna Espy doubled, freshman outfielder Presley Limbaugh singled and sophomore first baseman Olivia Bruno walked, to load the bases. Senior third baseman Ashlyn Anderson singled through the left side, bringing Espy home and putting Kansas on the board.
Each team stayed scoreless until the fifth. The Cornhuskers hit their second home run of the day in the first at-bat of the fifth, which extended their lead to 3-1.
Kansas scored in bunches in the bottom half thanks to four hits and one error by the defense. Anderson would find herself at the dish with bases loaded again. She singled up the middle and scored two more runs for Kansas, knotting the game at three apiece. With runners on second and third, freshman outfielder Aynslee Linduff hit a line drive through the right side, which was enough for both runners to score and gave Kansas a 5-3 lead.
Nebraska tried to rally in the sixth, scoring a run off of a single and a triple. However, Kansas added an insurance run in the bottom half, after Bruno collected her first hit of the afternoon, scoring Espy from second.
Kansas called on freshman Lizzy Ludwig for the save in the seventh.
Kansas starter Kasey Hamilton improved to 6-4 on the season, allowing six hits, four runs and seven strikeouts.
Anderson, Espy and Limbaugh all finished with a pair of hits, while Anderson also collected three RBIs.
GAME TWO: Kansas 8, Kansas City 0 (5)
Kansas saw an impressive start from junior Katie Brooks in the circle, throwing four scoreless innings and only allowing three hits. She also struck out five batters and improved to 4-2 on the season.
The Jayhawks set the tone early, scoring three runs on three hits and two errors by the defense in the bottom of the first. Espy opened the game with a single to right, followed by Limbaugh reaching first on a fielder’s choice, eventually stealing second and reach third thanks to a throwing error by the shortstop.
Bruno took a four-pitch walk and also stole second. Limbaugh scored on the play after a throwing error by the catcher. Junior catcher Lyric Moore collected her second hit of the day after she singled to left, putting runners on the corners. Anderson’s bat stayed hot, hitting a double to left, scoring Bruno and putting Moore on third.
Linduff tallied another run for Kansas, hitting a groundout to second, scoring Moore, earning an RBI and extending the Jayhawk’s lead to 3-0.
Moore opened the bottom of the third hitting her second triple of the season down the right field line. Anderson collected another RBI, hitting a sacrifice fly to right.
Kansas blasted two home runs in the fourth. Senior outfielder Peyton Renzi hit her first home run of the season in the first at-bat, followed by a solo-homer over the scoreboard from Bruno, giving Kansas a 6-0 lead.
Both Moore and senior third baseman Katie Gee were walked following the home runs. Senior outfielder Sophia Buzard doubled to left, advancing Gee to third and scoring Moore. Freshman shortstop Hailey Cripe extended Kansas’ lead to eight runs, after she hit a groundout to shortstop, scoring Gee from third.
Junior Addison Purvis came in for relief in the fifth, allowing only one hit and striking out one.
“We needed it today,” said Head Coach Jennifer McFalls. “Nebraska is a really solid program who plays a great schedule. Getting that first one against them was huge for us. We were able to carry that momentum into game two against Kansas City. I was really proud of our at-bats today. I thought we had a lot of quality at-bats, got timely hits and pushed runs across when we needed them. We needed that heading into the game on Tuesday as we continue to get prepared for conference play.”
Kansas heads to Wichita State to take on the No. 23 Shockers at Wilkins Stadium on Tuesday, March 21st.