Kansas defeats UMKC, 4-3, to open Jayhawk Invitational
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas softball opened the Jayhawk Invitational with a 4-3 victory over UMKC on Thursday evening at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
The Jayhawks (17-3) extend their winning streak to a season-long six games and reach 17 wins through the first 20 games of the season for the just the fourth time since 1996.
Junior starting pitcher Andie Formby (7-1) threw seven strikeouts in six innings with one run allowed to earn the victory in the circle. Formby shut the door on UMKC scoring opportunities, leaving eight Roos on base and ending four innings with a strikeout.
Freshman shortstop Shelby Gayre went 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBIs to lead KU’s offense on a brisk day at the ballpark with temperatures in the low 40s. Her team-leading fifth multi-RBI game of the season came on an RBI single in the second inning to give KU a 1-0 lead, and a solo home run in the sixth inning to give KU a 4-1 advantage.
“Shelby was phenomenal for us tonight with her RBI single and home run,” Kansas head coach Megan Smith said. “For a freshman to be able to come through as much as she has is awesome to see. She is a fighter and is super-confident when she gets into the box and we are certainly confident in her, too.”
Gayre’s four home runs this season co-leads the Jayhawks with senior sluggers Jessie Roane and Harli Ridling.
KU’s other pair of runs came on a RBI single by sophomore Becki Monaghan in the fourth inning and an RBI double by sophomore Sam Dellinger in the fifth inning.
Dellinger’s double, which was KU’s league-leading 33rd of the season, drove in freshman Brittany Jackson from first base. Jackson reached base in the fifth on an infield single to extend her hitting streak to a team-best 10 games.
UMKC’s Kelsey Goodwin tacked on two runs in the top of the seventh with a two-out, two-RBI triple against KU relief pitcher Tarin Travieso to pull the Roos within one run, 4-3.
Junior utility player Brynn Minor entered the circle to earn her second save of the season by striking out the only batter she faced in the seventh inning while an inherited runner, representing the game-tying run, stood stranded at third base.
UMKC’s Lynsey Conner (3-5) threw a six-inning complete game, allowing four runs and seven hits to receive the loss. The Roos fall to 4-12 on the season.
Kansas leads the all-time series with UMKC, 35-2. The Jayhawks are 24-0 against the Roos at home.
A full slate of five games during the Jayhawk Invitational begins on Friday at Arrocha Ballpark. The Jayhawks will play the fourth game of the day against Northern Iowa at 4:30 p.m.
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