Bulls Silence Kansas Offense in 6-0 Victory
TAMPA – In the final game of the USF Tournament, South Florida silenced Kansas’ offense, limiting KU to one hit, as the Bulls shut out the Jayhawks, 6-0, on Sunday afternoon inside the USF Softball Stadium.
The Jayhawks offense threatened right out of the gate after Shannon McGinley recorded a base knock in her first plate appearance and Chavez followed with a full-count walk to give KU two base runners in the top of the first. Despite two runners aboard, USF starter Erica Nunn and the Bulls ended the half inning without harm.
“Well, this game was disappointing. On the last day of the weekend, we come out flat and the last three weekends in a row we’ve done that,” said head coach Megan Smith. “We really challenged them to make an adjustment today do something different, but we didn’t, so we will go back to the drawing board and figure out how to fix that part of it.”
Following the first inning scare, Nunn quieted the Jayhawk lineup as only one additional KU runner go aboard over the next six innings. Nunn struck out six, while allowing two walks and hit in the complete-game effort.
“Erica Nunn had our number today,” said Smith. “I give a lot of credit to her. We got on her early the last game we faced her and they took her out immediately. We know she is there best and she came back today and threw a great game. We made some adjustments, but not enough to get anything going. It’s disappointing, but you have to give credit to a good pitching performance.”
Freshman right-hander Ania Williams got the starting nod for the third time this weekend on Sunday morning against USF. The Spring, Texas native sat the first three batters down in order before giving up three earned runs and four hits. She fell to 4-2 in the circle with the loss.
USF got on the board first in the bottom of the second. A triple scored to centerfield scored the first run while an uncharacteristic throwing error from the Kansas infield added an insurance run. Sophomore outfielder Mia Fung’s RBI triple was the second hit of the frame for the Bulls, as USF took a 2-0 lead into the third.
Senior catcher Lee Ann Spivey tacked on two more USF runs in the third with a home run off of the batting cages beyond the leftfield wall. Spivey’s second long ball of the season gave the Bulls a 4-0 advantage through three complete innings.
In the sixth inning. First baseman Lauren Evans flew out to left field, but plated a run on the sacrifice. The Bulls’ offense continued to apply pressure and loaded the bases before pinch hitter Meredith Bissette drove in the final USF run after drawing a walk. South Florida headed to the final inning with a 6-0 lead over the Jayhawks.
“The weekend as a whole, we got better,” Smith said. “We’ve gotten better every single weekend we’ve played. We’ve got young players getting great experience. Monique stepped up in a big way this weekend, which was great to see. Erin McGinley is doing awesome, so there were a lot of great things that happened this weekend. Overall, we got better and that’s what we need to focus on and not just the outcome today.”
Senior right-hander Monique Wesley entered the circle in relief in fourth. She struck out two after back-to-back K’s to end the fifth. Wesley tossed two and third scoreless innings while allowing just one hit.
Kansas concludes its 19-game road swing March 5-6 at the Southern Illinois Tournament. The Jayhawks will face Southern Illinois, Eastern Illinois and Butler for a total of four games. Every pitch from Carbondale, Illinois will be available on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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