Kansas takes advantage of Purdue miscues in 4-3 victory
ORLANDO, Fla. – Kansas softball took down Big Ten foe Purdue, 4-3, on Friday afternoon in the Citrus Classic II at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. The Jayhawks were outhit by the Boilermakers 7-5, but took advantage of three Purdue errors to pick up the victory.
Kansas (11-6) fired the opening salvo of the game, scoring a run off a flurry of Purdue (2-13) miscues in the top of the first inning. Senior Lily Behrmann led off the inning by reaching on a fielding error by the Boilermakers’ third baseman and advanced to second on an illegal pitch. Behrmann came around to score on yet another Purdue blunder, a throwing error by the shortstop on a grounder from junior Jessie Roane.
Purdue threatened to even the score in the first when starting redshirt freshman pitcher Ania Williams hit two batters and walked another to load the bases. The Spring, Texas product was able to get out of the jam unscathed however, by forcing a bases-loaded fly out to right field.
Williams’ day ended early after making it through just two outs in the second inning. The hurler struck out two batters in the inning, but hit her third batter of the game, walked her second and third batters, and allowed a wild pitch before head coach Megan Smith elected to bring in junior Sarah Miller to take over the pitching duties.
Miller couldn’t get things going immediately and gave up a two RBI single up the middle to give Purdue a 2-1 lead, before getting out of the pinch with a strikeout to end the inning.
Kansas answered back with a two-run top of the third to regain the lead, starting with a leadoff double from Behrmann. The Overland Park, Kansas native was able to advance to third on an illegal pitch, before Roane drove her home with a sacrifice fly to center field to even the score.
Freshman first baseman Becki Monaghan kept the momentum going and picked up a clutch RBI to take the 3-2 lead, driving in freshman second baseman Madison Sykes.
The Boilermakers were able to get back even with Kansas in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-out single to center field off Miller, but she was able to leave two runners stranded in the inning to limit the damage to just one run.
Freshman Mandy Roberts (2-3) took the circle for Kansas in the bottom of the fifth inning, coming into a high-pressure situation with the game tied, but the Lee’s Summit, Missouri native came through in a big way, tossing three innings of scoreless ball and picked up the win as KU took advantage of the Boilermakers’ third error of the contest.
“Mandy came in in a really tough situation and I thought she handled it really well,” Smith said. “She was poised and was hitting her spots and throwing quality pitches. I was really proud of her outing. She is getting such great experience this year as a freshman and she is making the most of it. Each time she goes out she should be getting more and more confident, because she is getting these opportunities and she is successful more often than not. We are excited about her and excited she is taking advantage of these great opportunities as a freshman.”
Junior Amanda Organ led off the top of the final inning for the Jayhawks and collected clutch hit, blooping a ball into center, before senior shortstop Taylor McElhaney mover her over with a sacrifice bunt. Organ moved to third on a ground ball from Behrmann and was able to trot home as the throw on the play sailed into the Kansas dugout, giving the Jayhawks the lead and ultimately the game, 4-3.
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