Home Runs Power Kansas Over Saint Francis, 10-2
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A pair of home runs started and finished Kanas’ scoring efforts in a 10-2 victory over Saint Francis on Saturday afternoon at John Cropp Stadium.
Junior Chanin Naudin’s second home run in as many games put the Jayhawks (23-9) on the board in the third inning. KU piled on nine more runs in the third and fourth innings. Sophomore Chaley Brickey’s seventh home run of the season in the fourth inning gave Kansas a 10-run lead.
Sophomore Kelsey Kessler opened the game with back-to-back strikeouts and sat the batters down in order in the opening frame. Kessler struck out three of the first six batters she faced and a total of five in her 19th start. She tossed three scoreless innings and limited the Red Flash to two hits.
In her first at bat of the day, Brickey drew a four-pitch walk to reach base safely for the 21st-straight game. She was stranded at first base as the Red Flash retired the side.
In the second inning, Naudin hit her long ball to left field to give the Jayhawks a 1-0 advantage. Freshman Katelyn Schumacher recorded her first career hit in the next at bat and outfielder Taylor McElhaney walked putting two runners on for senior Ashley Newman. Newman doubled to left center, which brought in two more runs as KU led 3-0.
Senior Alex Jones threw a runner out at home plate to end the top of the third frame and preserve Kansas’ shutout.
Naudin opened the scoring frenzy in the third inning after drawing a walk with the bases loaded, which brought home the first of seven KU runs in the third inning. Seniors Taylor Hatfield and Ashley Newman recorded an RBI singles as Kansas’ lead continued to grow. Schumacher’s game second hit of the game drove in her first career RBI. Brickey capped off the inning with a three-run home run to centerfield as the Jayhawks led 10-0 after three innings.
In the fourth inning, Jones took over in the circle. She struck out five and allowed two runs on three hits. However, Kessler earned the win and improved to 13-6 in her 24th appearance of the year.
The Red Flash answered with a run in the fourth inning, Taylor Parsons drove in a run for Saint Francis with a single to centerfield. Chelsey Cosentino added another run in the fifth for the Red Flash with a double to left field.
Jones ended the top of the fifth inning with a strikeout as Kansas run-ruled Saint Francis, 10-2, in five innings. Ketarah Devries got the loss in the circle after giving up eight runs and eight hits.
Hatfield’s single in the third inning extended her hitting streak to eight-straight games, while Stein increased her hitting streak to seven games.
Kansas faces No. 8 Wildcats in the final game of Saturday at the Kentucky Tournament.
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