Kansas Drops Oklahoma State Series Opener, 10-4
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball couldn’t overcome a pair of big Oklahoma State offensive frames in the later innings and dropped the first game of the series to the Cowgirls, 10-4, on Friday night at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
The Jayhawks (28-19, 5-8 Big 12) took its first lead in the third inning, but Oklahoma State (26-22, 5-9 Big 12) answered in the next inning with three runs to take back the lead. Another multiple-run inning in the sixth frame sealed the series-opening victory for the Cowgirls.
Senior outfielder Shannon McGinley and junior infielder Taylor McElhaney led Kansas’ offense, accounting for six of the Jayhawks’ 10 hits. McGinley and McElhaney each registered three hits and a RBI. Sophomore third baseman Jessie Roane also collected a multi-hit effort on Friday night with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate. Kansas’ 10-hit performance marked the 11th game in 2016 to reach the double-figure hit plateau.Senior Briana Evans
Oklahoma State jumped ahead early with a pair of runners in the first inning after recording back-to-back hits to lead off the game. With two runners in scoring position, the Cowgirls’ Tiffany Mikkelson gave OSU an early advantage with a three-run home run off the camera platform in centerfield.
In the second, the Cowgirls threatened again with two more runners in scoring position. Senior hurler Monique Wesley entered the game in relief for sophomore Andie Formby and induced a pair of outs to get retire the side unharmed. Wesley’s shutout first inning was the first of two scoreless frames. Wesley dropped to 4-4 on the season in the circle with the loss.
Kansas answered in the bottom half of the second and evened the score after plating three runs on two hits. The Jayhawks had a pair of runners on board with a walk and hit by pitch before junior utility Lily Behrmann advanced the runners to second and third with a ground out. Roane also grounded out, but allowed KU’s first run to cross home plate. Junior infielder Taylor McElhaney continued the two-out rally with a RBI single to centerfield while senior outfielder Shannon McGinley tied the ballgame, 3-3, with a single up the middle.
The Jayhawks took their first lead of the night, 4-3, in the third after an error scored the go-ahead run. Kansas’ one-run advantage was short lived as Oklahoma State reclaimed the lead in the next half inning. Freshman infielder Taylor Lynch hit a three-RBI double to centerfield giving OSU the lead, 6-4.
Junior right-hander Sophia Templin made her first appearance since February 28 against South Florida and struck out the first two batters she faced in the fifth. Shannon McGinley stole a home run from the Cowgirls to bring the top of the fifth frame to an end and keep Kansas within striking distance in the later innings. Templin struck out five of 14 batters faced in three innings of relief work.
Oklahoma State added four runs on four hits in the sixth, increasing its lead, 10-4, over the Jayhawks. The Cowgirls outhit Kansas, 13-10, marking the 18th time this season that KU has recorded less hits than its opponent. KU owns a 2-16 mark when its opponents register more hits.
In the seventh, the Jayhawks fought until the last out and kept the pressure on Oklahoma State. Kansas loaded the bases with two outs before the Cowgirls could seal the 10-4 victory with the final out of the game.
Kansas continues its three-game Big 12 series against Oklahoma State on Saturday, May 7. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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