Kansas falls to Northern Iowa, 8-4
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas softball’s six-game winning streak came to an end on Friday during day two of the Jayhawk Invitational as the Jayhawks (17-4) lost an 8-4 decision to Northern Iowa (14-8) at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
Freshman centerfielder Brittany Jackson extended her hitting streak to 11 games with a 1-for-3 performance at the plate, while throwing out another runner at home from her roost in centerfield.
KU’s day at the ballpark got off to a speedy start as Jackson led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, then proceeded to steal her seventh base of the season. Senior infielder Jessie Roane, who finished 2-for-3 at the plate, drove in her team-leading 23rd RBI of the season with a single down the left field line which scored Jackson from second and gave KU a 1-0 early lead.
After a quiet second inning on both sides, the Panthers took a commanding 8-1 lead with eight runs in the third inning. Through the first three UNI batters in the third, Kansas recorded two outs and allowed a walk. But after a pair of costly KU fielding errors and a series of UNI hits, the Panthers continued to put pressure on the Jayhawks.
All eight of UNI’s runs on Friday were unearned and came with two outs in the third inning.
Junior starting pitcher Andie Formby (7-2) threw 2.2 innings to eventually receive the loss despite giving up no earned runs during her 12th start of the season. Freshman Tarin Travieso switched from the starting designated player to relief pitcher with two outs in the third inning and completed the rest of the game for the Jayhawks in the circle.
After the third inning, Travieso dialed up the heat in the circle to hold the Panthers scoreless, allowing just two hits and a pair of strikeouts in the final four innings.
Kansas mustered runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings to pull within one run, 8-4. Jackson registered an RBI single in the fifth to score Shelby Gayre, senior outfielder Erin McGinley used a sacrifice fly to drive in a pinch-running Addie Balderston, and Travieso hit an RBI single to right field to score sophomore Sam Dellinger.
UNI’s leadoff batter Brittney Roby went 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs. Starting pitcher Brooke Craig (6-3) earned the win for the Panthers after throwing 5.0 innings with three earned runs and one strikeout.
With Friday’s result, Northern Iowa takes a 5-4 all-time series lead on the softball diamond against Kansas.
Kansas continues the Jayhawk Invitational on Saturday with a 2 p.m. first pitch against former Big 12 rival Nebraska.
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