Jayhawks Shut Out by No. 5 Oklahoma
LAWRENCE, Kan. – As the temperature outside cooled off, so did Kansas’ bats that less than 24 hours ago upset its first nationally-ranked foe of the season with a pair of home runs. In the second game of the series, it was a different story from the night before as No. 5 Oklahoma shut out the Jayhawks, 13-0, on Saturday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
The Sooners (41-7, 13-2 Big 12) recorded 10 hits, while Kansas (35-9, 5-6 Big 12) collected only a pair of hits in the final two innings of the ballgame. OU’s ace Paige Parker pitched three hitless innings in her second start of the weekend. The Jayhawks record a base knock in the fourth and fifth innings after senior Shelby Pendley took over in the circle for Parker. With the win, Parker improved to 22-5 on the season.
“We have to come out tomorrow and compete,” said head coach Megan Smith. “We did that last night. Today I felt offense and pitching wise we didn’t compete and weren’t locked in. We need to come out and fight harder.”
The Sooners wasted little time establishing a three-run lead. Outfielder Kady Self drove in the first two runs with a double to centerfield, while infielder Georgia Casey plated the third run of the first inning with a bunt single as OU opened the contest with a 3-0 lead.
After leading off the bottom half of the opening frame with a walk from junior Chaley Brickey, Kansas’ offense couldn’t gather anymore momentum to answer Oklahoma’s three-run start to the game. Parker sat down the next three KU batters via strikeout to end the first.
Junior Monique Wesley took over in the circle for sophomore Sophia Templin in the first inning and tossed a scoreless second inning before OU’s offense struck again in the top of the third. With the bases loaded, designated player Lea Wodach drew a walk to plate another OU run, increasing the Sooners’ lead, 4-0. Wesley threw three and third innings of relief work and struck out three batters in her 12th appearance of the season, while Templin dropped to 4-2 on the season in the circle with the loss after one inning of work.
“Your starting pitcher sets the tone for the game and it wasn’t a great start,” Smith said. “Sophia didn’t have a great start, she was hesitant instead of attacking her hitters and being confident. She has no reason to be anything but confident because she has been great for us this season, but she doubted herself and I think that set the tone for our whole team.”
Oklahoma doubled its lead in the fourth inning after the Sooners scored four runs on four hits. Outfielder Erin Miller started the big fourth frame for OU with a RBI single. Two more Sooner hits drove home three more runs as Oklahoma extended its lead, 8-0.
Senior utility Maddie Stein registered KU’s hit of the day, a single to second base. Her hit ended the no-hitter that Parker had maintained through the first three innings. Freshman Erin McGinley recorded another base knock for the Jayhawks in the fifth inning after beating out the throw from OU’s shortstop, who field the ball deep in the six hole.
In the final frame, the Sooners scored an additional five runs increasing their lead, 13-0. The Sooners’ double-digit lead marked the largest margin of loss for Kansas during the 2015 season and the first time that KU has been on the losing side to a shortened game due to the run-rule. Oklahoma’s 10 hits is just the fourth time this year that an opponent has registered 10 or more hits against the Jayhawks.
“No matter what the score is at the end of the game, we have to compete better, unlike today where we were lacking that aspect of things,” said Smith. “Last night we fought tooth and nail to win the game and then today zero fight. We have to come out tomorrow and fight harder and be competitive.”
With the series tied, 1-1, Kansas can still win the series over the nationally-ranked Sooner with a victory during Sunday’s series finale.
Kansas concludes the series against the Sooners on Sunday, April 26 at 12 p.m., inside Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. Sunday is 80’s day and the next set of trading cards will be given out before the game while supplies last.
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