Longhorns Silence Kansas’ Offense, 6-0
AUSTIN, Texas – A day after its best offensive performance of the 2016 season, Kansas’ bats went silent at the plate, as Texas shut out the Jayhawks, 6-0, on Sunday afternoon at McCombs Field.
Kansas (28-18, 5-7 Big 12) won the second game of the three-game series behind its best offensive output of the year with 14 hits, but Texas (33-14, 7-7 Big 12) won the series after shutting down the Jayhawks at the plate in the final game of the weekend. The Longhorns scored first in both of their victories, and the Jayhawks couldn’t gain enough offensive momentum to mount comebacks either outing. Despite senior shortstop Chaley Brickey’s multi-hit effort at the plate (2-for-3), UT outhit KU eight hits to five.
In the second inning, Kansas threatened to take the lead first for the second-straight game. Sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez led off the frame with a four-pitch walk followed by redshirt sophomore Harli Ridling reaching base after getting hit by a pitch. With two runners on board, Texas ended the threat and got out of the inning unharmed, stranding a pair of Jayhawks on first and second.
Senior hurler Monique Wesley got two quick outs to start the bottom half of the second before Texas rallied to take the lead. Junior shortstop Devon Tunning ignited the Longhorns’ offense with a two-out double to left center before senior second baseman Stephanie Ceo brought her home with a RBI-single to right center. Wesley induced a fly out to left field preventing any further damage by Texas’ offense, who took a 1-0 advantage into the third frame.
Kansas was 60 feet away from tying the ballgame in the third inning, but Texas ace Tiarra Davis halted KU’s offense and ended the threat unscathed. Junior infielder Taylor McElhaney drew a full-count walk while Brickey recorded the first Kansas hit of the day, a single to first base, giving the Jayhawks a pair of base runners. Senior outfielder Shannon McGinley bunted the runners to second and third base before Davis would record the next two outs. Through the first three innings, Kansas’ offense had stranded four runners on base.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, freshman Alexis Reid entered the circle in relief. Wesley finished the outing with two strikeouts and four walks in three and one-third innings of work. She dropped to 4-3 on the season in the circle with the loss. The Longhorns extended their lead with a grand slam to right field from senior Lindsey Stephens. Texas added a fifth run of the frame on a wild pitch before the inning came to an end. Texas scored five runs in the fourth to lead Kansas, 6-0, after four innings.
The Jayhawks’ offense had opportunities to break through throughout the ballgame, but couldn’t capitalize and left nine runners on base. Kansas’ nine left on base is the most runners stranded by the Jayhawks in Big 12 action. Sophomore right-hander Andie Formby came in to pitch in the fifth and tossed two scoreless frames.
In her second start of the series, Texas’ Davis went the distance to record her second victory of the weekend in the circle. She improved to 19-9 on the year while striking out eight and giving up four walks. Davis’ complete-game shutout is the fourth time in league action that Kansas has been held scoreless.
With two outs in the seventh, Kansas loaded the bases with a pair of walk and a single, but Texas held on to win the series with a 6-0 victory.
Kansas returns to Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park for a six-game homestand to close out the 2016 regular season. The Jayhawks begin the homestand with a three-game series against Oklahoma State May 6-8. KU kicks off the Big 12 Conference series on Friday, May 6 at 5 p.m., on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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