Reid tosses shutout in 4-0 win over Stetson
DELAND, Fla. – Kansas softball pitcher Alexis Reid threw her first-career shutout on Saturday evening, striking out three batters along the way as the Jayhawks took down Stetson on their home field. Backed by four runs in the late innings of the game, the sophomore allowed just four hits, two walks and one hit batter in the complete game effort.
Reid faced 12 batters through the first three innings, allowing just one runner in scoring position. Not registering strike outs as often as she did in the season opener, Reid looked to her defense, primarily the infield, to keep her numbers low. Six of her first nine outs came by way of ground out or pop up, and one runner caught stealing by junior catcher Harli Ridling paired with two strikeouts from the Blue Springs, Missouri product kept the Hatters (2-1) from threatening early.
“I thought Alexis looked great tonight,” head coach Megan Smith said. “She took care of herself and got her arm ready. I think she was a little sore after the first game, with it being the first game of the season, but you couldn’t tell when she was out there pitching tonight. She was locked and focused on quality pitches and she kept them off balance. On top of that she did a really good job defending her position, she played some really good defense.”
Harli Ridling drove in KU’s first run of the game with an RBI single.Similar to the Stetson offense, the Jayhawks (4-0) were held at bay until the fourth inning. Senior Lily Behrmann was Kansas’ first baserunner after reaching on a fielding error by Stetson. Senior Taylor McElhaney moved Behrmann over to second with a perfect sacrifice bunt. Behrmann, an Overland Park, Kansas native, advanced to third on a ground out by senior Taylor Dodson, and Ridling drove her in with a single down the left field line to put the Jayhawks on the board.
“We just need to learn from each at bat and make adjustments, which we did really well,” Smith said. “Our first at bats, maybe we didn’t produce, but I felt like we learned from them and that was able to kind of fuel those adjustments the second time through. I was pleased with how they stayed calm and just worked through it.”
Much like the first three games of the season, the Kansas bats seemed to feed off one another. Junior center fielder Erin McGinley led off the fifth with a single, and like a match to gasoline the Jayhawk bats caught fire. Freshman Becki Monaghan recorded an infield single, beating out a throw on a ball hit deep in the hole between shortstop and third. Adding another spark to the fire, head Smith put on a double steal that paid off, moving both runners into scoring position.
Junior Mikayla Warren stepped to the plate with one out and opened up the game with a two RBI double to left center, giving Kansas a 3-0 lead. The Kansas bats weren’t done there as Behrmann singled through the right side to score Warren and make it a four-run game.
“I think our team is really close and they feed off each other’s energy and each other’s success,” Smith said. “You can see that as we start to gain momentum with our offense and it just seems like it is one after the other and it just kind of snowballs. I think that shows our energy and that we are really close as a team.”
Reid kept dealing in the circle, and despite the Hatters getting a runner to third, the sophomore stranded two to get out of a jam in the bottom of the fifth. Reid continued to trust her defense and induced three ground outs in the sixth, before closing the door on Stetson in the seventh by stranding two runners, giving the Jayhawks the 4-0 victory.
Kansas will conclude the Stetson Lead-Off Classic at Patricia Wilson Field in DeLand, Florida on Sunday, February 12, against Akron at 9 a.m. CST. The game will have a live, free audio broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
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