Jayhawks Drop Series Finale at Oklahoma, 4-0
NORMAN, Okla. – After starting the game hot and loading the bases, Kansas’ offense couldn’t find the momentum it needed to upset No. 13 Oklahoma in the final game of the weekend, as the Sooners shutout the Jayhawks, 4-0, on Sunday afternoon at Marita Hynes Field.
Kansas’ offense threatened from the start, applying pressure by loading the bases with a pair of walks and a bunt single from sophomore outfielder Erin McGinley. With the bases full of Jayhawks, Oklahoma ace Paige Parker worked her way out of the jam by sitting the next three KU batters down to end the inning and half the Jayhawk momentum.
“We faced an All-American pitcher who had a great game today,” said head coach Megan Smith. “What I wasn’t pleased with was we had our chance to make some noise and instead of attacking, we allowed her to attack us. That’s my disappointment, regardless we had a chance and were in that game. We were down four runs, that’s within striking distance, and you would hope we would’ve done better offensively to create more opportunities after the first inning.”
After loading the bases in the first, KU’s bats cooled as Parker sat down the next 14 batters in a row until sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez recorded a base hit down the right field line, the second Kansas hit of the afternoon. Parker end the day tying her season-high of 12 strikeouts en route to her 12th victory in the circle in 2016.
For the first time this series, Oklahoma put runs on the scoreboard first. The Sooners took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, plating a pair of runs on three hits and an error. A base hit and a fielder’s choice allowed OU to plate two runs before the inning came to a close.
In the bottom of the third, Oklahoma tacked on two more runs to increase its advantage, 4-0, over the Jayhawks. Senior designated player Tori Nirschl pushed the first run across with a RBI single off the top of the wall in centerfield. Pinch hitter Macey Hatfield plated the final run of the frame with another RBI single.
The Sooners chased Kansas right-hander Andie Formby out of the game with one out in the third inning. In her 16th start of the season and second of the weekend, Formby threw two and one-third innings. The Orange, California native gave up four runs, three earned, and six hits while striking out two. Freshman Alexis Reid took over in the circle and threw three and two-thirds innings of relief. She struck out two and allowed two hits in her scoreless relief outing.
“I think our pitching staff as a whole all weekend did their jobs,” Smith said. “They made good adjustments on Andie (Formby) in their second time through the lineup, but Alexis (Reid) came in and shut it down. She kept them at bay the rest of the game and did their job to give us chances to win. Our pitching staff kept it within our reach, which is all you can ask for, especially when you are facing the best offensive team in the conference.”
Reid and Parker dueled in the circle, each dealing three scoreless frames. Oklahoma threatened in the sixth, but Reid worked through the bases loaded for another scoreless inning during her second appearance of the series.
Although Chavez’s single to right field in the sixth ended Parker’s streak of sitting down Jayhawks, the Kansas offense couldn’t get enough momentum to swing its way and mount a comeback. The Sooners took the series with the 4-0 shutout victory.
Kansas hosts Georgia Tech and North Texas for a total of four games April 8-10 at Rock Chalk Park. Follow all the action on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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