Kansas Downs Eastern Illinois, 7-1
CARBONDALE, Ill. – For the third time in as many games, Kansas found themselves trailing in the first inning, but hot hitting from sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez and junior utility Taylor Dodson lifted Kansas over Eastern Illinois, 7-1, Saturday afternoon inside Charlotte West Stadium.
The Jayhawks (10-8) used a four-run third inning to separate themselves from the Panthers (4-15) and win their third consecutive game at the Coach B Classic.
After giving up a run in the top of the first frame, sophomore hurler Andie Formby (4-1) settled in the circle and only surrendered one hit for the remainder of the game. The Orange, Calif. native walked just one batter and registered five strikeouts, tossing her third complete game of the season.
“She was great after the first inning,” said head coach Megan Smith. “The first inning wasn’t bad, but after the first she motored through it. She did a really good job keeping them off balance.”
Eastern Illinois struck first after a single and sacrifice bunt put a runner in scoring position for Kylie Bennett as she singled to right field.
Familiar with finding themselves behind in runs, Kansas responded in the bottom of the first after senior shortstop Chaley Brickey drew a walk, setting Chavez up for a two-run long ball over the centerfield wall to give KU a 2-1 advantage.
Similar to the previous two games in the tournament, Kansas regained the lead and would keep it for the remainder of the game.
In the third inning, Chavez stepped up to the plate for the second time and nearly duplicated her previous plate appearance, garnering two more RBIs on a single shot to the right field wall. The sophomore first baseman ended the day with four RBIs going 2-for-2. She was issued a walk in her final trip to the plate of the day.
“Andie gave up two of her three hits in the first inning, so we give up a run right off the bat for the third consecutive game, which isn’t great,” Smith said. “But I like the way our offense came back and set the tone. Daniella came up really big with that home run to set the tone for the rests of the game.”
The RBIs continued to come in pairs as Dodson made use of her role as the designated player, sending a bullet over the right field wall and bringing home redshirt sophomore catcher Harli Ridling for her second home run of the season, giving KU a comfortable 6-1 lead. Dodson racked up the squads remaining three RBIs, collecting her third after wearing a pitch on a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the fifth.
“Taylor Dodson had a great game,” Smith said. “We have been looking for someone to come in and do a good job in that designated player spot. We’ve kind of gone and circled through a lot of different people and I feel like Taylor took advantage of her opportunities today with some really good at bats, 2-for-2 is pretty good.”
For the first time this weekend, multiple Jayhawks recorded multi-hit games. Brickey joined Chavez and Dodson, collecting two hits on the day. Brickey has registered two or more hits in each of the first three games of the tournament.
Formby earned her fourth win in the circle, while Eastern Illinois’ Michelle Rogers tallied her third loss of the year.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.