Brickey Launches Kansas Past Butler, 5-3
CARBONDALE, Ill. – A two-run blast from senior shortstop Chaley Brickey in the top of the seventh inning broke up an offensive standstill and propelled Kansas past Butler, 5-3, Saturday evening inside Charlotte West Stadium.
The Jayhawks (9-8) victory over the Bulldogs (6-8) leaves them unblemished after the first day of the Coach B Classic with help from Brickey’s offensive efforts in both games.
After a hot start from both teams, each tallying three runs apiece in the first three innings, the offense quieted down until Brickey launched a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to give the Jayhawks the go ahead run. The Haltom City, Texas product stepped to the plate after sophomore outfielder Erin McGinley lined a single to shortstop, giving Kansas a two run lead, 5-3.
“That was big,” said head coach Megan Smith of Brickey’s shot. “We want the bat in her hands with runners on as much as we can get. She had a lot of opportunities in that game and that’s saying a lot of the top of our order, getting on for her. It was a tough game and a really close game so that was big for her to do that.”
A slow start in the circle from Kansas gave Butler an early two run advantage in the first frame. Freshman right-hander Ania Williams got the starting nod, but after tossing a walk and single the Jayhawks were forced to go to the bullpen and call on sophomore hurler Andie Formby. The Bulldogs went on to capitalize on a bases loaded situation, tacking on back-to-back runs on a fielder choice and sacrifice bunt to take the 2-0 lead.
Redshirt sophomore catcher Harli Ridling answered with a run of her own on a solo shot over the centerfield fence to leadoff the second inning, cutting the Jayhawks deficit to one run, 2-1.
Kansas went on to register two more runs in the following inning to temporarily take the lead. Junior infielder Taylor McElhaney got things started for the Jayhawks, inducing a walk with senior outfielder Shannon McGinley moving her to second on a sacrifice bunt up the third base line. A single from Brickey set up Daniella Chavez to clear the bases on a double up centerfield, putting Kansas ahead, 3-2.
“It wasn’t the start we wanted,” Smith said. “But I felt like after getting punched in that first inning I was really happy with our response and that we came back in the second and third to take the lead. I think that the top of our order is doing great offensively, they have definitely carried us in the last two games, but we need some other people to step up too.”
Butler tacked on the tying run in the bottom of the third after a double from Brandyce Sallee and a single from Kaitlin Doud, but neither team would register another run until Birckey’s home run in the seventh inning.
For the second game in a row, Brickey was the sole Jayhawk to register multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and two RBIs. Chavez also collected a pair of RBIs with her double in the third inning.
After Formby was called into the circle in the middle of the first inning, she tossed six and one-third innings, striking out five batters and only giving up one run. Kansas brought in senior Monique Wesley to close out the game, inheriting two runners and an out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hurling a complete game earlier in the day, Wesley picked up where she left off and struck out both batters she faced to solidify the Jayhawks 5-3 victory.
“She (Andie) was great,” Smith said. “It’s unusual to have to come in with no outs in the first, but she came in and did a phenomenal job. She made a defensive miscue in the seventh and that’s why we had to switch, but I think Andie kept them off balance really well and hit her spots really well. Then Mo shut it down at the end, so it was really nice to see that too.”
Formby (3-1) was credited the win while Wesley earned her first save of the season.
Kansas will continue play in the Coach B Classic tomorrow morning with a rematch against Eastern Illinois at 12:30 pm at Charlotte West Stadium. Every game will be available on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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