🥎 Kansas Tops Host Houston in Series Opener

HOUSTON – Kansas defeated Houston 4-3 on the strength of three home runs and stellar defense behind pitcher Kasey Hamilton Friday night at Cougar Softball Stadium.

Lyric Moore hit her fifth home run of the season, the most on the team, and Hailey Cripe recorded the first multi-home run game of her career to lift the Jayhawks to the win. Cripe’s second homer was a go-ahead two-run shot in the sixth.

Kansas improved to 20-8-1 and 5-2 in the Big 12, while Houston fell to 19-10 (2-5 Big 12).


  • Moore got Kansas on the board early. She blasted her fifth home run of the season to lift Kansas to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. That was the only run the Jayhawks could muster, as they entered the bottom half of the frame with a one-run lead.
  • Hamilton started in the circle for the 14th time this season. After giving up a hit in the second at-bat of the game, Hamilton retired the next eight batters to earn three-straight scoreless innings to open the game.
  • Cripe got in on the action with a long ball of her own in the top of the fourth. She hit her second home run of the season to center to extend KU’s lead to 2-0.
  • Houston responded in the bottom of the fourth with a home run of its own. After walking a batter with two outs, the Cougars hit a two-run home run to tie the game at two apiece. They followed that with another home run to make it 3-2, Houston.
  • The Jayhawks retook the lead in the top of the sixth thanks to another home run. Moore got her second hit of the evening with a single up the middle, followed by another Cripe home run. This time, it was a two-run home run over the left foul pole to give Kansas a 4-3 lead. This was the first time Cripe has had a multi-home run game in her career.
  • Cripe continued her good game on the defensive side. After Hamilton walked the first batter and earned a strikeout, Cripe turned a double play by herself, as she forced the out at second before throwing it to first to put an end to Houston’s threat.
  • After giving up a hit to the first batter in the bottom of the seventh, Hamilton shut down the Cougars as she forced a strikeout, a popup and a routine groundout that ended the game and gave Kansas the 4-3 win.

Win: Kasey Hamilton (8-5)
Final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 SO
Loss: Paris Lehman (5-3)
Final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 0 SO

Cripe went 2-3 at the plate as both of her hits went over the fence for two home runs. The home runs were the second and third of her season, and it was the first time she recorded multiple home runs in the same game in her career. She ended the night with three RBI. Cripe also forced a huge double play in the bottom of the sixth to keep KU’s lead safe.

“We came out strong, obviously Lyric set the tone for us. Hailey Cripe, holy cow. She had a heck of a night tonight. I’m so proud of her, not just offensively, but defensively. That double play was a game changer too. Just overall, really proud of our fight tonight. We were really locked in for seven full innings and I love that Kasey just wanted to keep competing in the circle. We knew what we were getting with Houston. They swing the bat really well and they aren’t going to go away. We’re going to come back tomorrow, going to have to play great defense and continue to find ways to put more runs on the board than they do.” – Head Coach Jennifer McFalls

“As a team, we’ve been working really hard when it comes to the hitting aspect of things. Our pitchers have been doing a great job in the circle, so when it came to the home runs, I wasn’t even thinking about driving the ball out of the park. It was just about shortening up and producing runs for our pitchers” – Hailey Cripe

  • Kansas got its fifth conference win of the season, matching its total from a year ago.
  • The three home runs hit by Kansas are the most in a single game this season.
  • The Jayhawks improved to 9-4-1 in one-run games this season.
  • With her home run and single, Moore increased her multi-hit total to seven on the season.
  • Hamilton threw her 12th complete game of the season and earned her eighth win of the season.

Kansas will continue play at Cougar Softball Stadium as it takes on Houston in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday, March 23. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT, and fans can catch every pitch via Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.