Formby’s Gem Sets Pace in KU’s 5-0 Victory Over Omaha
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sophomore right-hander Andie Formby extended her scoreless streak to 17 and two-thirds innings after throwing her third complete-game shutout of 2016, in a 5-0 victory over Omaha on Sunday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
Along with Formby’s gem in the circle, sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez dazzled at the plate giving Kansas (15-9) the lead with her eighth long ball of the year, a lead that the Jayhawks wouldn’t surrender for the remainder of the game.
“We carried the momentum form yesterday evening’s game. We had that fight at the end of the game and we carried that into today,” said head coach Megan Smith. “I am really proud of how we came out energized, a little fatigued, but energized and worked through it. It was a full team effort today and I was really proud of that.”
In her second start of the weekend, Formby opened the final game of the Jayhawk Invitational by tossing the first of seven scoreless frames. With two Omaha runners in scoring position, Formby collected her fourth strikeout to end the Maverick threat and the top of the second inning.Sophomore Daniella Chavez
Formby tossed her second-complete game shutout of the weekend and finished the weekend without allowing the opposing team to cross home plate. In three appearances over the weekend, Formby posted a 0.00 ERA with a perfect 3-0 mark in the circle.
“Andie looked really good today and has looked great for the last few weekends, well let’s be honest, she’s been great all season,” Smith said. “Andie is by far the hardest worker on the team. She cares about every rep that she takes a practice. She puts a lot of time, thought and energy in everything that she does. She’s an unbelievable student-athlete to coach and it’s fun to watch her.”
The Orange, California product struck out seven batters in her final outing of the Jayhawk Invitational, bringing her total to 19 in nearly 18 innings of work. Formby surrendered two hits against the Mavericks on Sunday.
From the start, Formby established her dominance in the circle, while Kansas’ offense took a few innings to give its starter a lead to work with. The Jayhawks produced in the third inning with a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished.
Redshirt sophomore catcher Harli Ridling led off the bottom half of the inning with a four-pitch walk. An illegal pitch by Omaha’s Laura Roecker moved Ridling into scoring position. Junior utility Lily Behrmann reached on the second walk of the inning before sophomore infielder Jessie Roane advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Although the Jayhawks chased out Omaha’s starter Roecker, junior Abbie Clanton entered the circle in relief and halted KU’s offensive momentum, stranding two Jayhawks as the second frame to a close.
Senior outfielder Shannon McGinley began the bottom of the third inning with the Jayhawks’ first hit of the afternoon, a single up the middle. Sophomore outfielder Erin McGinley moved her sister into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Senior Chaley Brickey registered an infield single to give Kansas a pair of base runners as Chavez entered the batter’s box. Chavez delivered a three-run lead with her eighth home run of the season and second of the weekend.
“I though offensively we made some really good adjustments today and do some good things,” said Smith. “They haven’t always done that in the past, so it was really good to see. Lily (Behrmann) and Jessie (Roane) came through to get some really good hits for us. Taylor (McElhaney) with the sacrifice fly and Daniella (Chavez), obviously, with the big home run, but it was good to see everyone contribute.”
In the bottom of the fifth, junior second baseman Taylor McElhaney added a run with a sacrifice fly. She stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and brought home the runner on third with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Kansas loaded the bases for the second time of the inning after Shannon McGinley recorded her third hit of the afternoon, a single to centerfield. With the bases still loaded, Brickey plated a run after drawing a walk. Kansas headed to the sixth inning with a 5-0 lead over the Mavericks.
Shannon McGinley and Roane each collected multi-hit efforts in the final contest of the non-conference tournament with three and two hits on the afternoon, respectively. In all, Kansas outhit the Mavericks 10-2.
“I will tell you what, Shannon McGinley had a day today,” Smith said. “I am really pleased with how Shannon and Erin both are contributing to the offense. They are great at the top of the order, the battle and are confident. They are a fun pair to watch and a fun pair to coach.”
Defensively, the Jayhawks led the country coming into the weekend with the best fielding percentage at .984. After five games this weekend, KU committed just one error in 34 innings as its fielding percentage increased to .986 on the year.
“I think we had one error on the weekend, but defense was phenomenal all weekend,” said Smith. “That is one of the reasons Andie is so good, she’s confident in her defense and that they will make plays behind her. It’s really nice to watch our middle infielders work, they are phenomenal at what they do. Chaley (Brickey) and Taylor (McElhaney) are doing a really good job.”
With the 5-0 victory over Omaha, Kansas improved to 4-1 on the weekend at the 2016 Jayhawk Invitational.
The Jayhawks hit the road for a midweek game at Creighton on Wednesday, March 16 at 4 p.m. Following the first midweek matchup of 2016, Kansas will host the Rock Chalk Challenge March 18-20 at Rock Chalk Park.
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