Kansas Downs Western Illinois, 4-1
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball increased its win streak to seven-straight victories after defeating Western Illinois for the second time this weekend, 4-1, on Saturday at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
For the 10th time this season, Kansas (14-8) scored first and took an early 1-0 lead over Western Illinois in the opening frame. Sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez drove in the first KU run with a double off the left field wall. Chavez has recorded six RBIs in the first three games of the Jayhawk Invitational, all six against the Leathernecks.
Freshman Ania Williams earned the starting nod in the first game of the day, her first appearance of the weekend. In her ninth appearance of the season, Williams surrendered one earned run and three hits. The Spring, Texas native left the game without a decision in her fifth start of the year.
The Leathernecks answered in the top of the second inning, tying the ballgame, 1-1. Junior catcher Taylor Messer drove in the equalizing run with a RBI single to centerfield. The go ahead run moved into scoring position, but Williams and the Jayhawks recorded the final out before any further damage occurred.
In the bottom half of the second, junior utility Taylor Dodson led off with a double to right field, as Kansas loaded the bases. With two outs and the bases loaded with Jayhawks, Western Illinois escaped the frame unscathed, stranding KU’s go ahead runner 60 feet from home plate.
Sophomore Andie Formby entered the game in relief with one out in the third inning and retired the side without any harm. The Leathernecks threatened again when the leadoff batter got aboard after getting hit by a pitch and moved into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but Formby worked around the leadoff runner and recorded another scoreless frame for the Jayhawks.
Chavez plated the go ahead run in the bottom of the fifth after mirroring the opening inning. The Crowley, Texas product doubled off of the left field wall allowing Kansas’ second run of the game to cross home plate. In the sixth inning, Kansas tacked on two more runs to increase its lead, 4-1.
Formby tossed four and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, increasing her scoreless streak to 10 and two-thirds innings, en route to her sixth victory of the year. After another scoreless outing, Formby’s ERA dropped to 1.96. She struck out four and gave up two hits.
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