Kansas Sweeps Texas Tech with Sunday Victory, 9-1
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball ended its first Big 12 Conference weekend at home with a shortened game to sweep the series after the Jayhawks walked off with the win over Texas Tech, 9-1, on Sunday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
Sophomore infielder Jessie Roane ended the game in the fifth inning with a three-run home run, her second of the weekend and sixth of the season. Roane’s walk-off home run gave Kansas its second run-rule victory of the weekend, as the Jayhawks recorded their first league sweep of 2016.
“What a great weekend,” said head coach Megan Smith. “To sweep a team in the Big 12 is really difficult to do, especially a team of Texas Tech’s caliber. Our mantra all weekend because of the ‘Jayhawks for a Cure’ game was fight and I told the team before today’s game we will have fight the hardest we’ve fought all weekend today to get the sweep. I was really proud of our team and their effort.”
Kansas’ offense found its rhythm over the weekend after recording a .493 clip at the plate in three games. Senior Chaley Brickey led the charge connecting on six of eight at-bats for a .750 batting average in three starts at shortstop. While the offense heated up, the defense also shined making dazzling plays all weekend to back up the KU pitching staff.
“Our defense this weekend made some unbelievable plays,” Smith said. “Our pitchers got into some jams and our defense bailed them out multiple times, which I was excited to see. They were calm, composed and made some really great plays, which helps our pitchers relax a little bit. If they give up a couple hits, they know our defense is going to have their back.” Senior Chaley Brickey
The defense set the tone for the Jayhawks in the first inning. Redshirt sophomore catcher Harli Ridling attempted to catch the Texas Tech runner stealing third. The Red Raider go caught in a rundown, which Kansas prevailed for the second out of the inning. While the first rundown occurred, KU’s infield found themselves in the middle of a second rundown, which also resulted in an out for Kansas and ended the top half of the opening frame.
Sophomore hurler Andie Formby found herself in a pitcher’s duel to open her second start of the weekend. Following the first inning, Formby retired the next six Red Raider batters in order before Texas Tech would reach base.
In the bottom of the third inning, Brickey ended the pitcher’s duel and gave Kansas the lead with a double off the wall in left field. Brickey’s 50th career double moves her into second all-time in KU history and plated a pair of runs, as KU scored first for the third time in the series against the Red Raiders. Sophomore outfielder Erin McGinley added an insurance run before the inning came to a close. McGinley drove in a run with a RBI single through the right side, extending the Jayhawks lead, 3-0, over Texas Tech.
Texas Tech attempted to answer in the fourth, but Formby stranded a pair of Red Raiders on base to toss her fourth scoreless inning of the day. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that Texas Tech would push its lone run across home plate, spoiling Formby’s shutout. Following the TTU run, Brickey turned to two to end the inning without further harm.
Heading into the bottom half of the fifth, Kansas owned a 3-1 advantage over the visitors from Lubbock, Texas. However, the Jayhawk offense exploded for six runs in the fifth frame to end the ballgame in five. Brickey started the scoring frenzy with a two-run home run, her ninth of the season. Brickey ended the day with four runs batted in bringing her career total to 150, which ties former teammate Maddie Stein for Kansas’ all-time RBI record.
“She has had a huge weekend,” said Smith of Brickey’s performance during the series. “Being in the leadoff spot for as much as she has been and to get the number of RBIs that she does is a testament to the bottom half of our order, but I will tell you she was on it all weekend and locked in. She had really good at-bats the entire weekend.”
The late-inning offensive surge by KU continued with the third run coming home on a fielding error by the Red Raiders. Two more Jayhawks would reach base before Roane entered the batter’s box. Roane’s second home run of the weekend gave Kansas the win, 9-1, over Texas Tech to complete the sweep in five innings.
Formby recorded her second victory in the circle of the weekend on Sunday, to improve to 16-5 on the season. She struck out one while scattering six hits in five innings of work. On the weekend, Formby allowed just one run and struck out four.
Kansas outhit Texas Tech for the third time this weekend, 11-6. KU saw three multi-hit performances at the plate from Brickey (2-for-3), Roane (2-for-3) and junior infielder Taylor McElhaney (2-for-2) and two multi-RBI efforts from Brickey (4) and Roane (3).
Kansas hit the road to face Baylor in a three-game Big 12 Conference series April 22-24. The series kicks off on Friday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m., on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.