Ridling Ignites Jayhawk Victory over Mean Green, 12-2
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Redshirt sophomore catcher Harli Ridling ignited Kansas’ offense in all three frames where a Jayhawk crossed home plate, as KU run-ruled North Texas, 12-2, on Saturday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
In each inning that Kansas crossed home plate, Ridling was either the first Jayhawk to reach base or plated the first Jayhawk to reach base. The Sentinel, Oklahoma native finished the day 2-for-2 at the plate with a run batted in. Kansas (22-13) totaled nine hits compared to the Mean Green’s two in the run-rule victory. Ridling along with junior designated player Lily Behrmann (2-for-2) notched a multi-hit performance.
Ridling jump started the offense in the second inning, as the Jayhawks took the lead first for the second game in a row against North Texas. She doubled off the wall in left center field for KU’s first hit of the afternoon. Behrmann hit the ball to almost the exact same spot in left centerfield, which allowed Ridling to score, giving Kansas a 1-0 advantage after two innings.
North Texas answered in the next half of an inning, after scoring one run to even the score, 1-1. Junior shortstop Kelli Schkade led off the frame with a double to left field, while a sacrifice bunt moved her 60 feet away from home and a ground out allowed her to cross home plate.
For the second inning a row, Ridling fueled the offense after recording her second-straight double to regain the lead for Kansas in the fourth. Following Ridling’s RBI double, the Jayhawks walked in a pair of runs thanks to pinch hitters junior Taylor Dodson and senior Kylee Kennedy. Senior shortstop Chaley Brickey brought home two more KU runs with a single before sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez’s sacrifice fly scored the final run of the frame. Following an offensive explosion, Kansas headed to the fifth with a 7-1 lead over North Texas.
The Mean Green put a dent in KU’s six-run advantage in the fifth a solo home run from sophomore designated player Lauren Miller to lead off the inning. After giving up the solo shot to left field, Kansas’ starting in the circle, Alexis Reid, gathered three outs to end the fifth without any further harm.
In her second victory in the circle this season, Reid struck out six batters, a new career-high mark for the freshman, and allowed just one walk. The Blue Springs, Missouri native limited the Mean Green offense to five hits and two earned runs.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, which started by Ridling reaching after getting hit by a pitch, the Jayhawks added two more runs after junior infielder Taylor McElhaney and Brickey each brought in a run by also getting hit by a pitch. Chavez ended the game early with a base clearing double, as Kansas downed North Texas, 12-2.
Kansas continues its Big 12 Conference bye weekend round robin with North Texas and Georgia Tech on Saturday, April 9 with first pitch is slated for 1:30.Follow all the action on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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