Big bats propel Kansas over Green Bay, 14-2
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball didn’t waste any time putting runs on the scoreboard and opened its second game of the weekend with nine runs in the first frame. The Jayhawks’ potent offense went on to defeat Green Bay for the second time in three days with a 14-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
KU (14-9) jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first inning after hitting three home runs in the opening frame. Junior Harli Ridling and freshman Madison Sykes each launched three-run homers, while senior Taylor Dodson hit a solo shot over the fence. The Jayhawks’ three long balls were three of 14 hits Kansas recorded, as Ridling and Dodson each collected multi-hit efforts against the Phoenix. Junior Sarah Miller
After allowing Green Bay to get two runners on in the top of the first, junior pitcher Sarah Miller settled down and retired the side with back-to-back strikeouts for her first of three shutout frames.
With two runners on in the bottom of the first, Ridling ignited KU’s offense with a three-run home run to left field, her second long ball of the weekend. Dodson followed with the Jayhawks’ second home run of the inning, as Kansas’ lead grew, 4-0.
After back-to-back home runs, KU’s offense didn’t slow and continued to apply pressure early on in the ballgame. Senior shortstop Taylor McElhaney added a run with an infield single, while senior outfielder Lily Behrmann drove in another run with a sacrifice fly. Sykes capped off the early offensive explosion with Kansas’ third homer of the frame. Sykes’ three-run shot to left center extended the Jayhawks’ lead, 9-0, before Green Bay could retire the side.
After a base hit and a pair of walks loaded the bases, sophomore outfielder Emily Bermel drew a walk and allowed another run to cross home plate in the second inning. With lone run of the second frame, Kansas increased its advantage over Green Bay, 10-0.
In the top of the third, Miller stranded a Green Bay runner en route to tossing her third-straight shutout inning of the ballgame. Miller improved to 3-2 on the season in the circle with victory on Sunday afternoon. She struck out five batters, while allowing five hits and two earned runs.
Dodson drove in two more Kansas runs in the third inning with a base hit up the middle. Dodson finished the game with three RBIs, tied for the most in the game with two other Jayhawks.
Junior catcher Jessie Roane picked off a runner at first for the first out of the fourth inning. With one out, Green Bay got on the scoreboard with a two-run home run by Joclyn Delgrange. Delgrange’s long ball cut the Phoenix’s deficit, 12-2. Following the homer, Miller and the Jayhawks quickly recorded two more outs to end the inning without further harm.
In the bottom half of the fourth, junior infielder Amanda Organ drove in the first of two KU runs with a single. Roane followed with an RBI double to put Kansas back on top by 12 heading into the final inning.
Senior hurler Sophia Templin closed out Kansas’ first game of the day with another scoreless inning for the Jayhawks. She tossed a hitless fifth inning in her fourth appearance of the season. Templin’s hitless relief inning sealed the 14-2 win for Kansas on Sunday afternoon.
Kansas continues action at Rock Chalk Park on Sunday, March 12, against Iowa at 5:45 p.m., at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
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