Williams dazzles as Kansas takes down SC State, 8-0
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Redshirt freshman pitcher Ania Williams tossed a spectacular game for Kansas softball, as the Jayhawks took down South Carolina State 8-0 in five innings in the Osprey Invitational in Jacksonville, Florida. Williams tied a career-high seven strikeouts and took a no hitter into the seventh inning before the Lady Bulldogs picked up a two-out hit to spoil what would have been the 27th no-no in Kansas softball history.
South Carolina State (0-8) picked up their lone hit of the game after a bit of controversy. With two outs, Williams threw a two-strike pitch that looked to be fouled off, but the umpire ruled a dropped third strike and the runner was safe at first giving the Lady Bulldogs an extra out. That extra out was taken advantage of and Williams’ near no hitter was ended with a single to left field.
“I thought Ania looked great today,” head coach Megan Smith said. “She struggled a little bit last weekend, but we wanted to give her the ball again to see her work out of it and I think she did great. She was moving the ball really well and hitting her spots, she was very poised and confident in the circle and I was just excited for her that she bounced back so well this weekend.”
The Jayhawks (6-2) had their bats going early in the ballgame, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second. Junior Harli Ridling led off the inning with a walk and freshman Becki Monaghan doubled to center to move Ridling to third with one out.
Freshman Madison Sykes followed the Canadian with a single to right that allowed both Monaghan and Ridling to score to give Jayhawks a two-run lead.
Junior Jessie Roane drove in a run in the third inning to give Kansas a three-run advantage, and the flood gates opened in the fourth as the Jayhawks scored five runs.
Sykes started the rally in the bottom of the fifth for Kansas, picking up a one-out single to right field for her second hit of the game. An SCSU error allowed junior Annie Mehringer to reach and advance Sykes to second before a walk to senior Taylor McElhaney loaded the bases.
Senior Lily Behrmann wore a pitch to drive in the first run of the inning, and a sacrifice fly from junior Erin McGinley gave KU the 5-0 lead.
With two on and two outs, Roane laced one over the wall in left center to stretch the lead to eight runs before freshman pinch hitter Brittani Reid grounded out to end the rally. Luckily the eight-run lead was enough to end the game after Williams shut the door on the Lady Bulldogs in the bottom half of the inning.
“We were ready to get back here and play after the late night,” Smith said. “We were not happy with yesterday’s performance, we played two good teams that played really well last night, but we were ready to get back and play. It didn’t matter that we only got four hours of sleep, our girls were ready to come out and play and bounce back today.”
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