Tulsa Outlasts Jayhawks, 3-2
TULSA, Okla. – A pair of home runs produced all three runs needed for Tulsa to outlast Kansas, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
The Jayhawks (33-8) took a break from Big 12 Conference action and during their bye weekend took on Tulsa (29-15) in one of its final three non-conference match-ups of the season. Although Kansas struck first and held the Golden Hurricane scoreless for four innings, three runs on two home runs was enough for Tulsa edged the Jayhawks and even the all-time series, 8-8.
As the game progressed, the Jayhawk offense attempted to mount a comeback several times, but Tulsa found answer and halted any signs of KU building momentum at the plate. Kansas left six runners on base, while the Golden Hurricane outhit KU, 8-6, marking just the ninth time this season that Kansas has been outhit by its opposition.
Senior utility Maddie Stein got things started for Kansas’ offense in the opening frame with a stand up double down the right field line. Fellow senior Chanin Naudin reached base on an error that dribbled right through the second baseman’s legs and allowed Stein to cross home plate, giving Kansas a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Golden Hurricane wouldn’t let the Jayhawks hold the lead for long and answered with a two-run home run to take its first lead of the day, it would prove to be the only lead change of the game as Tulsa held on to its one-run advantage. Junior catcher Catherine Horner launched her second homer of the season over the fence in left field as Tulsa led, 2-1. Junior outfielder Jodi Edmiston extended the Golden Hurricane lead, 3-1, with a solo home run in the second inning with her second long ball of the year.
Kansas’ defense opened the third inning with a web gem at third base and ended on a high note with another in left center. Naudin snagged the ball in the dirt and threw across the diamond for the first out of the frame. Outfielders Briana Evans and Shannon McGinley both chased a ball down in left centerfielder. Each diving for the out, Evans came up with ball to end the inning as the Jayhawks trailed, 3-1.
In the fourth, Naudin recorded the second base knock of the afternoon with a hit through the left side, she advanced to third base after freshman catcher Jessie Roane slid into second for a double to centerfield. Roane’s extra-base hit gave KU two runners in scoring position, which the Jayhawks capitalized on having a runner 60 feet from home after Shannon McGinley nearly cleared the fence in left field, her sacrifice fly cut Tulsa’s lead, 3-2. Naudin finished the afternoon 2-for-3 with a run scored to lead KU’s offense. The Princeton, Texas native has 12 multi-hit performances in 2015, which is the third-most on the team.
Freshman Bryn Houlton worked around a single in the fourth inning to throw her second-straight scoreless frame. She held the Golden Hurricane scoreless for four innings and surrendered one run, a solo home run, during the second inning in her relief outing. Houlton tossed five and two-thirds innings in her 14th appearance of 2015.
Tulsa’s Bailey Erwin improved to 14-3 on the year with the victory. She struck out four in three and a third innings of relief work. Emily Watson started the game for the Golden Hurricane and struck out three in three and two-thirds innings, while up two runs and three hits.
Kansas returns to Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park starting its final eight-game homestand of 2015 with SIUE on Wednesday, April 22 at 2 p.m. After the midweek contest with SIUE, the Jayhawks host No. 5 Oklahoma April 24-26.
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