No. 21 Baylor takes series-opening doubleheader with Kansas
WACO, Texas — Kansas softball lost both games of a doubleheader at No. 21 Baylor by a combined scoring margin of four runs on Friday at Getterman Stadium.
The Bears (28-13, 6-6 Big 12) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in game one before opening the three-game series with a 4-1 victory. Kansas (25-20, 0-11) tied game two, 1-1, on a two-out RBI single by senior outfielder Annie Mehringer in the fourth inning but Baylor rallied in the bottom of the sixth for a 2-1 decision in the nightcap.
Senior infielder Jessie Roane went a combined 3-for-6 at the plate on Friday. In her first pair of starts at second base this season, senior Amanda Organ recorded two hits while flashing the leather on a couple run-saving plays at second base.
Sophomore first baseman Becki Monaghan did what the Bears still haven’t done all season — hit a home run inside Getterman Stadium. Monaghan’s homer was a solo shot to centerfield to lead off the fifth inning of game one, which ended up being KU’s only run of the first game. Monaghan has two home runs in the last three games for the Jayhawks.
Senior pitcher Sarah Miller (8-9) took to the circle for game one and went on to throw her second-straight complete-game outing with four strikeouts and four runs allowed.
The Bears got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the opening inning on an RBI double by Goose McGlaun, but Miller kept the damage to a minimum by stranding two Bears in scoring position by ending the first inning with a strikeout.
Baylor recorded three-straight hits with two outs in the second inning, including a record-breaking single by Jessie Scroggins and two-RBI triple by Kyla Walker. After her second-inning hit, Scroggins became Baylor’s all-time leader in career hits.
The Jayhawks showed signs of life while trying out mount a game-one rally as senior Erin McGinley singled and promptly stole second base, but was left on base at the end of the third inning. Defensively, freshman centerfielder Brittany Jackson made a diving catch in center field to end the bottom half of the fourth inning and strand two Bears on base.
Monaghan led off the fifth inning with her solo shot past the centerfield fence to put the Jayhawks on the board, 3-1.
Kansas mounted a late rally with two outs in the top of the seventh as Jackson singled through the right side. On the next at-bat, Roane singled to right-centerfield but was called out on a close play at second base when trying to stretch her hit into a double. If Roane was called safe, it would have brought the game-tying run to the plate for the Jayhawks, but it proved to be the final out of the contest.
Baylor pitcher Gia Rodoni (16-9) earned the winning decision in the circle with six strikeouts and one run allowed in a complete-game effort.
During game one, both Kansas and Baylor left a total of eight runners on base while the Bears had only a slight 8-to-7 advantage in total hits.
Junior pitcher Andie Formby (11-7) returned to the circle for game two, making her first appearance since April 7 after missing last week’s series at OU due to injury. Formby showed no signs of weakness in her six-inning complete-game outing in which she held Baylor’s top-6 hitters in the lineup hitless during a narrow 2-1 loss.
Baylor took an early lead on a two-out RBI single by Hannah Smith in the bottom of the second, the first of her two RBIs during the nightcap.
KU’s grit on offense — recording a hit in the first three innings — finally paid off in the fourth inning as the Jayhawks tooled together a run to tie the contest, 1-1. Freshman shortstop Shelby Gayre led off the inning with a walk, which turned out to be the only walk Baylor pitcher Regan Green (9-3) would allow on Friday.
Gayre was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Monaghan and later advanced to third on a wild pitch by Green. Mehringer roped a single through the right side to score Gayre and tie the game at one apiece.
With runners at the corners and one out, Baylor would regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI blooper by Smith just beyond the reach of a diving Jackson in centerfield to give BU a 2-1 lead. Kansas was retired in order in the top of the seventh to clinch the doubleheader sweep for the Bears.
Kansas will play its final road game of the regular season as the Jayhawks and Bears conclude a three-game series on Sunday at noon. The originally-scheduled game on Saturday was canceled and moved to a Friday doubleheader to avoid heavy rain and thunderstorms forecasted in Waco this weekend.
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