🥎 Stellar Pitching and Defense Get the Job Done for the Jayhawks
WACO, Texas – The Kansas softball team topped No. 21 Baylor 2-1 in a pitchers’ dual at Getterman Stadium on Friday night, earning a victory in its conference opener for the second time in the past three years (2021).
The Jayhawks, who secured their first win against a ranked opponent this season, improved to 19-12 (1-0 Big 12), while the No. 21 Bears fell to 25-9 (0-4 Big 12).
“It wasn’t our cleanest game, we only got three hits, but they were incredibly timely.” said Head Coach Jennifer McFalls. “Anynslee Linduff stepped up again with runners in scoring position and Lyric Moore got another big hit for us. I’m proud of our compete factor right now. They’re really locked in and have a lot of positive energy flowing. It’s just great to get out here and get that first conference win against a good team like Baylor.”
Junior left-hander Kasey Hamilton got her seventh win of the season for the Jayhawks, opening the game with four-straight scoreless innings. In the game she allowed six hits, three walks and struck out three batters.
The Jayhawks scored a run early. In the top of the second, junior utility player Savanna DesRochers walked on five pitches. Linduff followed by with double, giving Kansas a 1-0 lead.
The Jayhawks attacked in back-to-back innings, scoring another run in the top of the third. Senior center fielder Shayna Espy singled to left and advanced to second thanks to a sac-bunt from freshman outfielder Presley Limbaugh. Moore hit a line drive single back at the pitcher, scoring Espy and extending Kansas’ lead to two.
The Baylor Bears finally got one across in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to one hit and one error. With a runner on third, Baylor doubled down the right-field line, scoring the runner from third.
Freshman right-hander Lizzy Ludwig came in for relief in the after Baylor scored with a runner on second. After intentionally walking a batter, putting runners on first and second, Ludwig forced a groundout to first, ending the sixth and stranding two runners.
In crunch time in the bottom of the seventh, senior outfielder Peyton Renzi made a spectacular diving catch in right to get the first out of the inning. After a groundout for the second out, Ludwig forced a lineout to sophomore first baseman Olivia Bruno to secure the win.
Ludwig pitched 1.1 innings, only allowing one walk and no hits. Ludwig recorded her third save of the season, which is the second-most in the Big 12.
The Jayhaws will look for another road conference win tomorrow, April 1 at 2 p.m. CT against Baylor. Watch the game via Big 12 Now on ESPN+, or following along live with the official Kansas Softball Twitter account.