RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.23 (Softball)
— Kansas Softball (@KUSoftball) February 18, 2018
A post shared by Kansas Softball (@kusoftball) on Feb 17, 2018 at 7:33pm PST
Freshman utility player Tarin Travieso made a shining collegiate debut in her hometown of San Antonio as Kansas softball (8-2) continued its strong start to the season at the UTSA Softball Tournament last weekend.
During her first weekend of competition for the Jayhawks, Travieso (pronounced traa-VEE-es-oh) posted a .385 batting average with five hits, eight RBIs and three runs scored.
On Friday, Feb. 16, Travieso made her first-career start as the designated player against UTSA, going on to impress the throng of her family members in attendance by going 2-for-3 at the plate with a team-high six RBIs and her first-career home run.
“Tarin is a talented hitter,” Kansas head coach Megan Smith said. “She took a really good pinch-hit at-bat in the first game of the doubleheader today (a 2-1 win over Prairie View A&M). We liked her swings and decided to start her as our designated player for the first time. We are glad we did because she had a great night and to do that in front of her family is a memory she won’t forget.”
Her six RBIs against the Roadrunners during her first-career start are the most by any Big 12 player this season.
After her impressive start as the DP against UTSA, Travieso remained in the starting lineup for KU’s final three games of the weekend, in addition to making her first-career appearance in the pitching circle against Lamar, throwing 2.1 innings with one strikeout against the Cardinals.
In KU’s final two games of the weekend, Travieso added another home run, three hits and two RBIs in back-to-back games against Missouri State at the plate.
Travieso is part of a group of 10 KU newcomers who are quickly making an impact on the team. KU’s newcomers account for 47 percent of the team’s RBIs and 45 percent of the Jayhawks’ total hits.
AMAZING FIRST TWO CAREER HITS
In the history of NCAA softball, are anyone’s first two career hits be as memorable as those of freshman Shelby Gayre?
It’s a question worth asking after the backup catcher from D’Hanis, Texas, has a pair of three-run home runs as her first two hits of her collegiate career.
Even more spectacular: both home runs came after Gayre was inserted into the lineup as a pinch hitter.
The first came against College of Charleston on Feb. 11 during a 6-1 KU victory in DeLand, Florida.
The second came on Sunday in San Antonio as Gayre pinch hit for fellow freshman Brittany Jackson in the bottom of the sixth with KU trailing Missouri State, 6-4; two runners on and one out. Gayre looked at a ball and a strike, and fouled off a couple times before turning on a 1-2 count pitch to send it over the left field fence and give KU the go-ahead 7-6 lead over the Bears.
“I’m ecstatic for Shelby. She is a great kid, hard worker, cares so much and does anything we ask. She is a force,” Smith said. “Before the sixth inning started, I decided that if there were runners in scoring position when it gets to Brittany, Shelby will pinch hit. Shelby knew that and was prepared to go to the plate. I have a ton of confidence in her. That was (a) big-time hit.”