Kansas splits games between Providence, Bethune-Cookman

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – On the second day of Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom Invitational, Kansas softball (2-7) split a pair of game between Providence and Bethune-Cookman.
In a windy, yet sunny day, Kansas was unable to produce runs to back the stellar performance of its defense and pitchers. The Jayhawks tallied three runs on the day, compared to the nine runs Kansas averaged in their two-doubleheader contests at the Kajikawa Classic.
Kansas 2, Providence 1
In the first game on day two of the Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom Invitational, Kansas earned its second win of the season against Providence, 2-1 (4-5).

The game started with a bang. Shelby Gayre didn’t take long to establish a Kansas lead, sending a ball far over the right field wall with one on and only one out.
The two runs were all Kansas could muster, but also was all the Jayhawks needed.
Starting Kansas pitcher Lexy Mills tossed the first 2.2 innings before finding herself in trouble in the third. Mills relinquished one run, cutting the Jayhawk lead in half before head coach Jennifer McFalls made a pitching change to Mandy Roberts.
Robert shut down the Friars and pitched another scoreless inning before giving way to Brynn Minor.
Minor concluded the final three innings and faced 10 batters – only one less than KU starter Mills. The three innings pitched and a strong defensive effort secured the second victory for KU in 2019.
Bethune-Cookman 2, Kansas 0
Much like the first day of competition, the Jayhawks captured game one and fell in game two.
For much of the game, Kansas did not have an answer for Bethune-Cookman (4-6) pitcher Lexi Bermudez, who tossed six-scoreless innings.
Minor earned the start in game two for the Jayhawks and pitched four-scoreless innings before the Wildcats were able to mount an attack.
Playing small ball, Bethune-Cookman advanced runners to third and second before a single that ricocheted off the first base bag plated BC’s two runs. In the unusual play, Kansas was left scrambling after the ball was near no one after the diving effort by Becki Monaghan.
Minor settled down and pitched another scoreless inning before the Wildcats were able to net another run in the seventh.
With their backs firmly against the wall, Kansas brought the middle of its lineup to the plate in the bottom of the seventh.
Still facing Bermudez and with no Kansas hits in the game, Becki Monaghan approached the plate with one out and sent a ball deep over the right field wall. The home run did not produce enough momentum to continue the comeback.
Kansas finished the first two days of the Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom Invitational with two wins and two losses

  • Madison Sykes recorded her first stolen base of the season in the sixth innings against Providence. Sykes’ steal is the first steal by a Jayhawk other than Macy Omli.
  • Shelby Gayre tallied her first home run of the season in the first inning, plating the lone two runs for the Jayhawks against Providence.
  • Minor recorded the first save of the season for Kansas, pitching the final 3.0 innings and allowing no runs vs. the Friars.
  • Minor pitched 10.0 innings on day two of the Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom Invitational, facing 37 batters and allowing only three runs.
  • Monaghan tallied her second home run of the season and scored the Jayhawks lone run against Bethune-Cookman.

On the overall performance today …
It was about our offense today and we got cold at the plate. We didn’t have discipline and were swinging at pitches that we were not looking for. The first game we were able to find a way to win but we must be better with runners in scoring position.  In game two, the stats speak for themselves. Outside of the lone hit and home run by Becki (Monaghan) we didn’t compete well in the box.
On Brynn Minor’s performance in game one and game two …
When you have a pitcher compete like she did today, it is exactly what we needed her to do. She kept us in the game and did everything she needed to do for this team. She took care of business. We have to score runs for our pitchers and help them out.
On how to rebound from the loss to Bethune-Cookman and get ready for Missouri tomorrow …
This team is going to be ready to play Missouri and I believe they will raise themselves to the occasion. Missouri is heading into the game feeling confident. We must find a way to rebound and have a short-term memory, if we are able to do that we will find ourselves competing against them like we did last weekend.

Kansas concludes the D9 Citrus Blossom Invitational against Missouri at 8 a.m. (CT) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

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