🥎 Senior Send Off, Jayhawks Walk it Off with 3-2 Win
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Freshman Hailey Cripe hit a two-run double down the left-field line in the bottom of the seventh to lead Kansas to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Iowa State Sunday afternoon on Senior Day at Arrocha Ballpark.
Kansas (24-26, 5-13 Big 12) entered the final inning down 2-0 to the Cyclones (24-29, 6-12). Jayhawk senior Peyton Renzi opened the final frame drawing a walk and advanced to second thanks to a groundout. With two outs and a runner on second, freshman Presly Limbaugh singled through the left side to put runners on the corners. Senior shortstop Haleigh Harper came up clutch, producing her third hit of the game to get Kansas on the board. Trailing 2-1 with two outs and runners first and third, Cripe doubled down the left-field line, easily scoring the tying run from third and Harper raced all the way from first for the walk-off victory.
“It was just huge for our whole team. I thought we competed the whole game, we had a number of opportunities to push runs across. We were fighting, scratching and clawing for every little opportunity, and we finally got a break there at the end. I wanted it so bad for our seniors and they wanted it so bad. More than anything, it’s a huge win for them to finish on our field with that great of a feeling. Now we have to ready for the Big 12 Championships.”
Harper finished the day with three hits and one RBI in four at-bats. Cripe only had one hit in the game, but it was the game winner as she earned two RBI.
KU junior left hander Kasey Hamilton got the start in the circle for Kansas. In 5.0 innings, she allowed six hits, one run and two strikeouts, including an incredible catch off of a line drive drive right back to her.
Both teams were held scoreless until the fourth, when Iowa State got on the board. In the first at-bat of the frame, ISU first baseman Carli Spelhaug hit a solo-home run over the left field fence to grab a 1-0 lead. After giving up another single, the Kansas defense held strong and left one runner stranded in the top of the fourth.
Kansas would get its bats going again in the bottom half of the fourth. Sophomore first baseman Olivia Bruno doubled to right-center, putting herself in scoring position. Coach Jennifer McFalls brought in junior utility player Angela Price to pinch run and she was able to advance to third thanks to a groundout. However, she was left stranded as KU was unable to get timely hits.
KU sophomore right hander Katie Brooks came in for relief in the top of the sixth. After giving up a single to the first batter of the frame, Brooks was able to force a double play in order to get out of the inning unscathed. She allowed just two hits and one unearned run in two innings of action and improved to 5-5.
Trailing by a run, the Kansas offense saw another opportunity to tie the game. After a groundout, Harper singled to right, followed another single from Bruno, putting runners on the corners. Senior third baseman Ashlyn Anderson drew a walk to load the bases in the next at-bat. With two outs, Cripe hit a blooper to the first baseman, almost reaching first before being tagged out, ending KU’s threat.
The Cyclones were able to add another run to their tally in the top of the seventh. They opened the frame with a single up the middle, leading to a stolen base and a throwing error which put her on third. A softly hit grounder to second was enough to score the runner from third to give ISU a 2-0 lead with a half inning to go.
- With the win, this marks Kansas’ fifth walk-off victory of the season.
- The Jayhawks are 9-5 when scoring 3-5 runs this season.
- KU is 15-3 when allowing 0-2 runs to its opponent this season.
- Haleigh Harper went 3-for-4 with one RBI and scored a run. Harper had her second-consecutive multi-hit game and has a hit in four consecutive games, dating back to game three against No. 1 ranked Oklahoma on April 30.
- Katie Brooks made her 18th appearance this season and earned her fifth victory pitching two innings, allowing one run on two hits and no earned runs.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Katie Brooks (5-5)Final line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO Loss: Ellie Spelhaug (7-8) Final line: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
Kansas will travel to Oklahoma City to compete in the 2023 Big 12 Softball Championship, May 11-13 at USA Hall of Fame Stadium. Further information on matchups and gametime will be announced Sunday evening.