Williams, Jayhawks Shut Out Hornets, 9-0
FRESNO, Calif. – In her first career start in the Crimson and Blue, freshman pitcher Ania Williams tossed a complete-game shutout as Kansas softball run-ruled Sacramento State, 9-0, in the first game on Saturday at Margie Wright Diamond.
Williams sat the first three batters she faced down in order with the help of Kansas’ defense. In the second frame, the Hornets recorded their lone hit of the outing, an infield single. After Sacramento State hit its one base knock, Williams retired the next 10 batters in order en route to the win in the circle. Williams, who struck out two in five innings of work, improved to 2-0 on the year with the victory.
“Great outing for Ania, she had command over the hitters and threw good pitches,” said head coach Megan Smith. “She was able to get them to miss hit a lot of balls to the defense and had great demeanor. She didn’t give up any walks, which was huge for her. Coach Butler talked to her about limiting the free passes and today she answered. I am really proud of her effort today.”
Not only did Williams shut down Sacramento State’s offense, but her own offense gave her plenty of run support to work with early. Kansas took a 5-0 lead out of the gate and outhit the Hornets, 9-1.
“It was great to see the offense come out and attack early,” said Smith. “It was great to see people coming through in clutch situations. Daniella (Chavez) came through early, and she always does. Erin McGinley did well today and Chaley (Brickey) came through with the big hit at the end. I am really proud of the offensive effort and the attack mentality that they had.”
In the first two games of the Fresno State Kickoff, it took Kansas’ offense a few innings to warm up and push runs across the plate. To start the second day of the non-conference tournament, the Jayhawks jumped ahead early in the first inning after scoring five runs on five hits and a pair of errors.
Senior shortstop Chaley Brickey leadoff for KU doubling to the fence in right field, while a bunt single from junior utility Lily Behrmann advanced Brickey to third base. With Kansas runners on the corners, sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez plated the first Jayhawk in the five-run opening frame. A Hornet error, one of two in the first inning, allowed Kansas to score, increasing its lead 2-0.
The rally continued in the bottom half of the first with an RBI double from sophomore outfielder Erin McGinley and an RBI single for senior outfielder Briana Evans. Kansas capitalized on the second miscue of the frame by the Hornets to lead 5-0 after one inning.
“Sticking to the game plan and keeping it simple is what they need to do,” Smith said. “We were trying to do too much sometimes and we need to just get up there and have good quality at-bats. I feel like that’s what we did today, we had one long ball, but were able to manufacture a lot of runs with some nice set of hits.”
Brickey added three more run for Kansas in the bottom of the third inning. The Haltom City, Texas native launched her first home run on the year for three runs, as KU extended its advantage 8-0 over Sacramento State. The Jayhawks added a run in the bottom of the fourth, extending their lead to 9-0.
The run-rule victory marks the second shortened game that resulted in a Kansas win in 2016. Brickey and Chavez both finished the first game with multi-hit efforts after both going 2-for-3 at the plate. Brickey led the squad with three RBIs.
Kansas softball continues the Fresno State Kickoff on Saturday, Feb. 20 against No. 24 Fresno State. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. (CT) against the Bulldogs.
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