Jayhawks Power Past Georgia Tech, 12-1
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the third game in a row, Kansas softball scored double digit runs as the Jayhawks downed Georgia Tech, 12-1, in five innings Sunday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
Kansas finished the weekend with a 4-0 mark and outscored its opponents 35-3. In four games in three days, the Jayhawks (24-13) recorded a pair of shutouts and three-straight run rule victories. KU outhit the Yellow Jackets 9-5 in the weekend finale with four of those hits for extra bases.
“What a great weekend,” said head coach Megan Smith. “We showed up to play in all aspects of the game and it was good to see the team bounce back from some things that we didn’t do well last weekend. We absolutely did those things well this weekend. Our offense was clicking and we were taking advantage of the pitchers mistakes. Defensively, we were on cue, so it was really nice to see us come back this weekend and play so strong.”
Senior shortstop Chaley Brickey ended the game 2-for-2 at the plate with a home run, a double and three RBIs. Sophomore third baseman Jessie Roane also collected three RBIs after a 1-for-2 performance at the plate.Sophomore Daniella Chavez
“We saw some people who have been struggling step up and do really well,” Smith said of the balanced offensive attack. “Briana (Evans) was one of those. Harli (Ridling) and Jessie (Roane) came through big time for us, Chaley (Brickey) is back and looking really well. It was a really good effort 1-9 from our offense, even our pinch hitters had great at-bats.”
For the first game of the weekend, Kansas wasn’t able to put a run on the scoreboard first as Georgia Tech took an early 1-0 lead in the top half of the first. Senior designated player Courtney Ziese drove in the first Yellow Jacket run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Kansas answered in the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff home run. Brickey launched her eighth home run of the season, second-most on the squad, to even the score at one run each.
The Jayhawks took their first lead of the day in the second frame after scoring three runs on three hits. Brickey drove in the go-ahead run, her second RBI of the day, with a double off the outfield wall in left field. Kansas added two insurance runs after senior outfielder Shannon McGinley registered a RBI single and sophomore first baseman Daniella Chavez hit a RBI double. KU’s three-run second frame gave the Jayhawks a 4-1 advantage after two innings.
With the bases full of Jayhawks and two outs in the bottom of the third, Brickey drew a walk to record her third run batted in of the ballgame. Brickey’s bases-loaded walk increased KU’s lead, 5-1, over the Yellow Jackets.
After allowing a run in the opening frame, Formby tossed three scoreless innings as she moved to 14-5 in the circle. In the fourth, Formby snagged a line drive and tossed the ball to first base to turn a double play and clear the bases. She struck out two while giving up one earned run and one walk.
“The pitching staff looked great this weekend,” Smith said. “That’s been one of our strengths through the middle part of our season and I think they looked just as good this weekend. Andie (Formby), Monique (Wesley) and Alexis (Reid) all three did a really nice job and were in control. Obviously, it helped that our offense gave them breathing room and they haven’t had that to work with a lot this year, so it was nice to see them work with breathing room. I love the way all three worked this weekend.”
Kansas found itself with the bases full of Jayhawks for the second inning in a row in the fourth. While each base was occupied with a Jayhawk, junior designated player Lily Behrmann reached base after getting hit by a pitch, allowing a run to score. Roane added three more runs by clearing the bases with a double to right centerfield, as KU’s advantage grew to 9-1 over the Yellow Jackets.
The fourth-inning rally continued as junior second baseman Taylor McElhaney drove in the fifth run of the frame after hitting a base knock to centerfield. Chavez and McGinley plated the final two runs of the inning, each finishing the day with two RBIs. After recording seven runs on five hits in the fourth, Kansas headed to the fifth inning with a 12-1 lead over Georgia Tech.
Following the big offensive inning, senior hurler Monique Wesley took over in the circle for Formby. The Fontana, California product struck out two in an inning of relief work. Wesley and Formby combined for the 10th shutout by the Jayhawk pitching staff. Wesley’s scoreless relief outing secured the 12-1 victory over Georgia Tech.
Kansas returns to Big 12 Conference action and hosts Texas Tech for a three-game series April 15-17 at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. First pitch of the series is slated for Friday, April 15 at 5 p.m. Catch all the action on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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