Kansas falls to No. 8 Sooners, 6-2
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 8 Oklahoma outlasted Kansas in the final game of the series as the Jayhawks fell to the Sooners, 6-2, on Saturday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
In front of a record-breaking crowd of 1,380, Kansas (21-22, 3-9 Big 12) played a closely-contested ballgame against the nationally-ranked Sooners (38-7, 9-0 Big 12), keeping the game within reach throughout seven innings.
“I am really proud of the fight we showed today, specifically Alexis (Reid),” said head coach Megan Smith. “To face Oklahoma three days in a row and do as well as she did today is a testament to her mental and physical toughness. I was really proud of her.”
Senior Taylor Dodson
OU took an early lead in the first frame, but the pitching duo of KU’s Alexis Reid and Oklahoma’s Paige Lowary hurled three-straight shutout innings before either offense could get anything going again. The Jayhawks answered late in the game, but the Sooners responded to seal the series sweep over Kansas.
“We have to bring this fight every single day,” Smith said. “You watch us this weekend, no we didn’t get a win, but we scored runs off of elite pitching and we fought. We have to bring this every game the rest of the season.”
Oklahoma scored first in the top of the opening inning after putting two runs on the scoreboard on four hits. The Sooners scored first for the third game in a row and took a 2-0 advantage into the home half of the first.
Junior infielder Jessie Roane bunted a single down the left field line for the first KU hit of the day. Lowary recorded the final out, stranding Roane on first base as the first inning came to an end. Lowary went on to put zeros on the scoreboard for the next five innings before Roane would finally put KU on the board.
In the second inning, Reid sat the Sooners batters down in order for her first 1-2-3 frame of her third outing. She would go on to retire the next nine batters in order from the second to fourth frames before Oklahoma’s offense could gain any momentum.
The scoreless pitching duel that began in the second inning until three frames later when Oklahoma tacked on a run in the fifth. With the run crossing home plate, the Sooners held on to a 3-0 lead heading into the home half of the fifth.
Oklahoma increased its advantage to 5-0 with two more runs in the top of the sixth. Just as it looked like the Sooners were going to run away with the victory, Kansas responded in the bottom half of the inning. With a pair of Jayhawks on base, Roane beat OU’s defensive shift and doubled down the right field line to score both runners. Roane’s second hit of the game cut Oklahoma’s lead, 5-2.
The Sooners halted any momentum that Kansas was gathering in the final frame after adding one last run on the scoreboard. Lowary shutout KU’s offense for the sixth inning to seal the victory, 6-2, for Oklahoma.
The Jayhawks take a break from Big 12 Conference play to travel to Nebraska for a midweek matchup on Wednesday, April 19. The nonconference game is slated for a 6 p.m., first pitch on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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