Kansas drops Orange Game to Colorado State, 14-6
LAWRENCE, Kan. — During the sixth annual Jayhawks for a Cure Orange Game, Kansas softball fell to Colorado State in six innings, 14-6, on Saturday at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
Colorado State (18-7) led Kansas (25-12) by just one run, 5-4, after four complete innings but nine runs by the Rams in the final two innings lifted CSU to the series-clinching victory. On Friday the teams split a doubleheader.
The Jayhawks had eight total hits, including multi-hit efforts from senior left fielder Erin McGinley (2 for 4), freshman Shelby Gayre (2 for 2) and senior Jessie Roane (2 for 2). Gayre added a season-high four RBIs to drive in all but two of KU’s runs. Both Gayre and Roane made their season debut behind the plate at catcher after senior Harli Ridling exited the contest in the third inning after drawing a walk.
In her twelfth start of the season in the circle, senior pitcher Sarah Miller (8-5) threw 2.2 innings with two strikeouts in the losing decision. Colorado State reliever Alison Petty (2-4) threw 3.0 innings, allowing two runs on two hits to earn the victory in the circle.
Despite a two-run home run from CSU’s Corinna Gamboa in the first inning, the Jayhawks battled back after singles from McGinley, sophomore Sam Dellinger and freshman Tarin Travieso. Travieso’s single drove in McGinley to bring KU within one run. Gayre hit a two-RBI double to right field to put the Jayhawks in front, 3-2, cap off a three-run first inning.
Colorado State answered with two more runs in the second inning off a two-RBI single by Ashley Michelena, to make the score 4-3 in favor of the Rams. Following a hit batter and a walk, the Rams were able to score again off of a single by Nicole Valdez putting Colorado State up by two, 5-3.
Travieso moved to the mound for the Jayhawks in the top of the third before things got rolling for Kansas in the bottom of the inning. Gayre hit her second RBI double to right field, putting the Jayhawks within one, 5-4.
After holding the Rams scoreless in the fourth inning, KU allowed four runs in the fifth inning and five runs in the sixth inning as the visitors from Fort Collins, Colorado, took an eight-run lead. All of CSU’s five runs in the sixth inning against sophomore pitcher Mandy Roberts — who was making her season debut in the circle — were unearned after KU committed two untimely fielding errors.
Kansas leads the all-time series with Colorado State, 14-3. This weekend was the first time since 2007 the programs met on the diamond.
ABOUT THE ORANGE GAME
Kansas softball’s annual Orange Game — in its sixth year in 2018 — supports Jayhawks for a Cure and kidney cancer awareness, which is represented by the color orange. It is also a memorial game for KU head coach Megan Smith’s late husband, Paul Buske, who succumbed to kidney cancer in 2011 — shortly after Smith completed her second season coaching the Jayhawks.
The tradition of Megan and Paul’s only son, Cooper, throwing out the first pitch continued on Saturday as Cooper threw a strike to Kansas tennis head coach Todd Chapman, a kidney cancer survivor.
Kansas is 3-4 in Orange Games, including wins over No. 14 Baylor in 2017 and No. 5 Oklahoma in 2015. Although the Orange Game has been around for six years, there have been seven total games since 2017 was a doubleheader against Baylor.
Kansas begins the month of April with a visit to Wichita State for a midweek road contest on April 4 at 6 p.m. from the Wilkins Softball Complex.
Big 12 Conference play will resume for a three-game weekend series against Oklahoma State at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park, April 6-8. On Saturday, April 7, Kansas will welcome former players back to Lawrence for the annual Alumni Day game, which will be highlighted by the jersey retirement of former played and coach Tracy Bunge ’86.
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