Kansas blasts past Nevada, 6-3
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas’ offense came to life in the fifth frame and hit three home runs to blast past Nevada, 6-3, on Saturday night at Free State High School.
Kansas’ (23-23) offense tallied eight hits, including three home runs, against Nevada (23-18) and evened the series the victory on Saturday night. The Jayhawks scored first and didn’t look back until the final out was made.
“A heartbreaker last night for sure, but we came out today and played well,” said head coach Megan Smith. “Certainly, I’m proud of that. This team never quits, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what our record is, whether we win or lose a game, we are going to fight and keep working. That showed tonight that we were ready to fight.”
After giving up a leadoff walk and a single, Sarah Miller settled in to throw her first shutout frame of her 11th start of the year. She struck out two in the opening frame before a ground out brought KU’s offense to the plate.Junior Sarah Miller
“She did a great job tonight,” Smith said. “She hasn’t pitched a ton lately and was sick last weekend, so it was really good to see her come out tonight and do as well as she did. Her change up looked really great tonight and that was the difference for her.”
Senior outfielder Lily Behrmann leadoff the home half of the first with a walk, giving Kansas its first base runner of the game. Junior outfielder Erin McGinley put KU on the scoreboard with a standup double to centerfield. McGinley’s RBI double gave the Jayhawks an early 1-0 advantage.
“I was excited to see us score in the first inning and set the tone,” said Smith. “Then we laid back awhile, but then (in the fifth inning) we caught on fire and it is contagious for us. We get one good thing going and it just rolls. That inning was evidence of that.”
Following Nevada’s two base runners to start the game, Miller sat down the next nine batters in order for three-straight scoreless frames against the Wolf Pack offense. After sitting down 11-straight Nevada batters, the Wolf Pack recorded back-to-back hits to put a run on the scoreboard and tie the ballgame, 1-1.
Miller improved to 4-4 on the season in the circle with the victory. She struck out six. While limiting Nevada to four hits and one earned run. After throwing seven innings, Miller recorded her third complete game of 2017.
Senior infielder Taylor McElhaney leadoff the fifth frame with a bunt single, giving KU the go ahead run aboard. Freshman designated player Madison Sykes moved her into scoring position before Behrmann regained the lead for the Jayhawks with her fourth long ball of the season. The two-run home run gave KU a 3-1 lead over the Wolf Pack.
Junior third baseman Jessie Roane extended Kansas’ advantage with KU’s second two-run homer of the fifth inning before junior catcher Harli Ridling joined in the long ball fun. After three long balls over the fence in left field, Kansas took a 6-1 lead into the sixth.
In the top of the seventh, the Wolf Pack’s offense added two unearned runs on the scoreboard before the final out was made. Despite the late rally, Kansas held on to win the second game of the series, 6-3.
Kansas concludes its three-game series against Nevada on April 23 at 12 p.m., at Free State High School. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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