Oklahoma State tops Kansas in series finale, 9-3
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas softball lost Saturday’s series finale against Oklahoma State, 9-3, at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
The Cowgirls (28-11, 7-2 Big 12) sweep the three-game series against the Jayhawks (25-15, 0-6 Big 12).
Before the game, KU welcomed back dozens of alums to celebrate 50 years of softball at the University of Kansas and the jersey retirement of former student-athlete and coach Tracy Bunge.
After Bunge threw out the ceremonial first pitch with her family and fellow Jayhawks by her side, the current roster Jayhawks went on to play inspired ball. KU took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and did not surrender the lead until late in the sixth inning.
In the first inning, freshman centerfielder Brittany Jackson doubled to left field, and was driven home on a single from senior catcher Harli Ridling. Freshman first baseman Tarin Travieso added to KU’s lead with the first of her two RBIs on the day with — a single to centerfield to give KU a 2-0 lead.
Junior pitcher Andie Formby (11-6) worked through a long second inning, walking three batters and giving up two runs to tie the game, though after that she held the Cowgirls scoreless for three innings.
In the third inning, Kansas took a 3-2 lead. Ridling walked and freshman Addie Balderston entered as a pinch runner. Balderston stole second, her sixth of the season, then reached third on a groundout by freshman shortstop Shelby Gayre. Travieso picked up her second RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly, scoring Balderston from third.
OSU starting pitcher Logan Simunek would be relieved after 3.2 innings by junior Samantha Clakley (11-4) who entered the game with bases loaded in the fourth inning and stranded all three Kansas runners with a strikeout.
The Cowgirls wouldn’t score again until the sixth. Formby fought through a bases-loaded situation but a single to center field by junior second baseman Madi Sue Montgomery giving OSU the lead, 4-3. Senior Sarah Miller entered the game in relief in the sixth inning.
A big defensive effort from the Jayhawks allowed OSU to give up only three runs in the sixth. Freshman shortstop Sydney Pennington singled into left field but a long throw from McGinley to Ridling succeeded in tagging junior right fielder Taylor Lynch out at home plate. Hopes of keeping the Cowgirls at bay arose but a bases-loaded walk from Miller gave the Cowgirls a two-run lead, 5-3, going into the bottom half of the sixth.
Miller gave up a two-RBI double from Lynch in the seventh that would end her outing. Junior Brynn Minor would take the mound to finish the day for Kansas. Another two-RBI double, this time from OSU’s Whitney Whitehorn, would increase the Cowgirls lead to 9-3 before ending the inning. Kansas was unable to score in the bottom of the seventh and dropped the series to OSU.
Clakley was the pitcher of record for the Cowgirls, secured the win after giving up just one hit in 3.1 innings.
Kansas travels to Norman, Oklahoma, for a three-game series against back-to-back reigning national champion OU, April 13 through April 15.
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