Reid’s Complete Game Upsets No. 13 Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. – In her first start in the circle in over a month, Kansas freshman right-hander Alexis Reid threw the game of her life, as the Jayhawks upset No. 13 Oklahoma, 5-2, to even the series on Saturday afternoon at Marita Hynes Field.
In just her fifth start of the season, Reid dealt Oklahoma its seventh loss of 2016. The Blue Springs, Missouri product struck out two and threw six scoreless innings before allowing an unearned run and an earned run to score in the seventh.
Kansas’ (20-12, 1-1 Big 12) victory at Marita Hynes Field marks the first win for the Jayhawks in Norman since 1995. In three of the last four seasons, the Jayhawks have completed the upset over the Sooners in at least one meeting in the series. KU’s victory against No. 13 Oklahoma marks the first win against a nationally-ranked opponent this season, while head coach Megan Smith has guided the Jayhawks to a win over team in the national polls at least once in the last six seasons.
The freshman hurler scattered nine hits and walked two Sooners en route to her first career victory in the circle over nationally-ranked Oklahoma. Reid’s nearly scoreless outing against OU dropped her ERA to 4.20 on the year.
“She had a great day today,” Smith said. “She had a rough start to her freshman year, which isn’t unusual for a freshman. She’s taken a step back and reevaluated things, working harder and is learning how to become a college pitcher. Man, she took advantage of an opportunity today. I am impressed with her poise, her fight, her grit and just excited for her.”
Along with Reid’s stellar performance in the circle, Kansas’ upset was propelled by senior outfielder Shannon McGinley, who drove in four of KU’s five runs with a pair of doubles. She ended the day 2-for-4 for KU’s only multi-hit effort of the day.
“We definitely applied more pressure than yesterday,” said Smith of the offense. “We had good at-bats and took advantage of some miscues. I can’t say enough about Shannon McGinley. They set it up to put the bat in her hands after walking Chaley (Brickey) to get to her a couple times and she was locked in. She came through big for us both times, so I was really excited to that. It’s a pressure situation when someone is intentionally walked to get to you and I thought Shannon had great demeanor. .
Reid made her first start in the circle since Feb. 21 against UC Riverside. In her first Big 12 Conference start, Reid began with a scoreless first inning and would continue that trend until the bottom of the final inning. In the second, Oklahoma threatened to take a lead after a runners advanced to second and third, but Reid ended the Sooners’ offensive momentum and put another zero on the scoreboard.
“Alexis was attacking the hitters and was not afraid to throw at them,” Smith said of Reid’s performance in the circle. “That was the key, she wasn’t messing around and went right at them. When know she is capable of it and she showed today what she is capable of. This should give her confidence moving forward.”
Kansas took a 2-0 advantage in the top of the third after loading the bases with back-to-back hit by pitches and an intentional walk. With the bases full of Jayhawks, Shannon McGinley doubled past the left fielder, as the ball trickled to the outfield fence, two Jayhawks crossed home plate. For the second game in a row against Oklahoma, Kansas struck first with runs on the scoreboard. KU has a 15-5 mark when scoring first this season.
Redshirt sophomore catcher Harli Ridling and junior third baseman Taylor Dodson ignited the offense for the second frame in a row in the fourth inning. With one out, Ridling singled through the left side for KU’s second hit of the day, following the base hit Dodson got hit by a pitch for the second time.
After the duo reached base in the fourth, Oklahoma went to its bullpen. Senior Kelsey Stevens day ended after three and one-third innings of work while giving up four runs, two walks and two hits. Freshman right-hander Jayden Chestnut took over in the circle with one out in the fourth.
Senior shortstop Chaley Brickey drew a walk to load the bases for Kansas following the pitching change. With the bases loaded, an illegal pitch brought home the third KU run. Shannon McGinley continued the fourth-inning rally with her second two-RBI double of the game. Her nearly bases clearing double increased the Kansas lead, 5-0.
Oklahoma was able to push a pair of runs across in the final inning of the game, but Reid and the Jayhawks ended the game before any further harm would occur. In her first complete game of the season, Reid led Kansas to a 5-2 upset victory over the Sooners.
“Yesterday in the seventh inning we were scared and today we weren’t,” said Smith. “They got a couple of hits and a spinner ball that was misplayed and that could’ve been a moment where we collapsed, but collectively as a team they said, ‘Nope, not today, we are going to finish this game.’ I am so excited to see that because almost an identical situation to last night, last night we failed, and today we fought through it.”
The Jayhawks conclude their three-game series against Oklahoma to start Big 12 Conference play on Sunday, April 3 at 12 p.m. The game will air on the Jayhawk Radio Network and FSN.
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