KU Softball vs Baylor

Senior shortstop Haleigh Harper cheers against Baylor on April 8 at Arrocha Ballpark in Lawrence, Kansas. 

Kansas Softball traveled all the way to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to start the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge against Southern Illinois. The Jayhawks lost 5-2 in their first game of the challenge.

The Jayhawks had a slow start to the game. They were retired in quick order, with a walk from senior third baseman Ashlyn Anderson being the only blemish for Southern Illinois junior right-hander Madi Eberle’s inning. 

In the bottom of the first, sophomore right-hander Katie Brooks retired a batter before letting up back-to-back hits, one of which was a double from freshman infielder Jackie Lis, who later scored on an error by senior center fielder Shayna Espy. 

After a relatively quiet second inning for both teams, the Jayhawks leveled the game in the third inning off of a single from junior catcher Lyric Moore that sent junior right fielder Savanna DesRochers home. 

Kansas took a 2-1 lead in the fourth off of a sacrifice fly-out by sophomore pinch-hitter Natalie Marshall that sent junior utility player Angela Price home.

Southern Illinois swiftly took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth, with senior center fielder Aubree DePron scoring to tie the game 2-2. And in the next at-bat, junior left fielder Elizabeth Warwick hit a bases-clearing double, making the game 5-2. 

The teams remained locked in a stalemate for the next three innings, neither team scoring for the rest of the game. 

The Jayhawks failed to capitalize on the Salukis' strikeouts. The Salukis struck out eight times but still outhit the Jayhawks with nine to Kansas’ five hits.

Kansas, after this game, goes to 0-1 for the challenge and 3-3 on the season. The Jayhawks will be back in action in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge tomorrow at 10 a.m. against Cal State Fullerton.