Jayhawks split games on day one of Jayhawk Invitational
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball split its first two games of the Jayhawk Invitational, falling to SEMO 2-0 and beating Maine 6-4 at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
SEMO 2, Kansas 0
In its first contest of the day, the Jayhawks had little answer for SEMO starting pitcher Rachel Rook, who held Kansas to four hits through seven innings.
Brynn Minor earned the start for the Jayhawks and tallied her fifth complete game of the season, allowing two earned runs with three strikeouts.
The Redhawks and Jayhawks each were held scoreless through the first four innings. SEMO finally found success against Minor in the fifth inning and tallied one run against the senior from Wichita, Kansas.
SEMO later added an insurance run in the top of the seventh, while KU was unable to mount a comeback in its half of the inning.
Kansas 6, Maine 4
Following their third shutout of the season, Kansas (5-15) rebounded and found its rhythm at the plate.
Maine jumped out to an early two-run lead after tallying a run in the second and third inning, which knocked Kansas starting pitcher Hannah Todd out of the game.
KU turned to Lexy Mills, who pitched the next 3.0 innings. Mills finished with three strikeouts and two earned runs for her second win of the season.
In the bottom of the third inning, Kansas finally broke through and tallied its first runs of the day at the plate. KU tallied two runs off a Madison Sykes single to left field, which scored Emily Bermel and Sydnee Ramsey.
The Blackbears responded and captured back the lead after adding another run in the fourth inning off of Mills.
Jayhawks did not back down from the Maine attack, responding with three runs of their own and earning the lead for the first time in the game.
Holding a 5-3 advantage after a scoreless-fifth inning, Maine tacked on another run in the sixth.
Freshman Cheyenne Hornbuckle was the spark that Kansas needed. Hornbuckle approached the plate in the bottom of the sixth and stroked a ball over the right field wall for her first home run.
The one run in the sixth provided KU with enough protection against the Maine offense, who put two runners on with one out in the top of the seventh.
Minor again received the nod, taking over for Tarin Travieso who replaced Mills and tossed 1.1 innings.
After forcing a pop up to third base, Minor tallied a strikeout to secure Kansas’ first home victory of the season.
- Kansas earned its first home victory of the season and first home victory of head coach Jennifer McFalls career when KU beat Maine.
- Cheyenne Hornbuckle hit her first career home run in the fifth inning.
- Brynn Minor earned her second save of the season, pitching the final 0.2 innings against Maine.
Head Coach Jennifer McFalls
On coming back to win the second game after losing in the first game of the day …
I am most proud of the this team for not quitting in any games. We have put ourselves in position to win a lot of ball games because we competed and have not quit. As long as we stay resilient we are going to put it together. In the second game we were able to do that. We had some different looks on the mound for us and we did our job offensively.
Cheyenne Hornbuckle was a great spark for us off the bench, and I could not be more proud of her offensively and defensively.
On Brynn Minor continue to contribute …
I had not intended having to go back to Brynn, throwing as well she did in the first game and giving us seven full innings. She is our ace right now. We had to go back to her and I trusted her to close out the game.
Kansas again will played an altered schedule in the third consecutive tournament this season. KU, which originally was scheduled to play two games Saturday, March 9, is slated to play one game against Maine at 3:30 p.m.
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