Jayhawks Close Out Fall with 14-0 Victory over Cavaliers
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball concluded its 2015 fall slate with an undefeated mark and its best all-around performance on the diamond. The perfect combination of a potent offense, stellar pitching and dynamic defense by the Jayhawks resulted in a 14-0 shutout of Johnson County, on Tuesday night.
KU’s offense powered past the Cavaliers by recording 14 runs on 12 hits in five innings, while Johnson County posted its lone base knock in the four inning. The Jayhawks’ offense was highlighted by a grand slam from junior transfer Jordan Zolman and a total of four extra base hits by KU.
“Offensively, we’ve had some ups and downs this fall, but we amped it up at practice and did more live at-bats. We just let them work and it showed tonight that we have talented hitters, who can make adjustments,” said head coach Megan Smith. “I thought we had solid at-bats and several came through big. Jordan Zolman, obviously, with the grand slam, but I thought Erin McGinley also had a good day.”
Sophomores Daniella Chavez and Erin McGinley led the Jayhawks with two hits each, while Zolman tallied a team-best four RBIs.
“It was good to see the hitters poise and their calm demeanor at the plate,” Smith said. “Our offense competed and you saw that from every hitter. Even if they didn’t have a great at-bat or got out, they were competing and that’s what we want to see.”
In the circle, freshman Ania Williams got the starting nod from Smith. She struck out two of the first three batters she faced in the opening frame and sat down the first five Cavalier batters in order. Williams earned the victory, while striking out four in four scoreless innings of work.
“Really pleased with Ania’s performance in the circle tonight,” said Smith. “She had great command of her pitches and was moving the ball well. Her demeanor is something that I love to see, she is a competitor. She’s fun to watch in the circle and she exudes confidence. Her teammates are confident in her and we are in the dugout too.”
In the bottom of the first, senior Shannon McGinley was the first Jayhawk to reach base after recording a walk in her first at-bat. An error gave Kansas two runners aboard before Chavez doubled to left center, driving in the first two runs of the night. Sophomore Jessie Roane extended the first frame and added to KU’s early lead with a RBI single. Roane made her way home on the second error of the inning by Johnson County’s infield, as the Jayhawks led, 4-0, after the first inning came to a close.
Junior Taylor McElhaney and Shannon McGinley each plated a run with a base knock in the second, allowing KU’s lead to grow to a six-run advantage.
In the third, Erin McGinley extended the lead, 7-0, with a ground-rule double over the wall in left center. Her first hit of the fall finale allowed a Jayhawk to cross home plate for her first RBI of the evening.
Williams worked around the Cavaliers lone hit and a walk to toss her fourth and final scoreless inning of the outing. Sophomore transfer Andie Formby entered the game in the fifth frame, she struck out two of three batters she faced in her shortened relief appearance.
“I thought Andie was phenomenal tonight too,” Smith said. “We wanted to see more innings out of both pitchers, but Andie had one inning of work and that inning was stellar. I mean phenomenal. I thought Andie and Ania complimented each other really well. The pair worked really well together.”
Kansas’ offense erupted in the bottom half of the fifth and scored seven runs to double its advantage, 14-0. Redshirt Freshman Morgan Bohanan brought home the first run of KU’s scoring frenzy after getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Erin McGinley plated her second run of the night with her second hit, while Zolman’s grand slam over the fence in left field gave KU a double-digit lead. Williams drove in the final run of the night with a single to left field, as the Jayhawks downed Johnson County, 14-0.
Now that Kansas has wrapped up its fall schedule with a perfect 8-0 record, the last week of team practice will conclude with the annual Kansas World Series and Spooky Triathlon.
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