Kansas softball bounces back from its three-game losing streak, sweeping its March 3 doubleheader in the South Florida Tournament. The Jayhawks shut out Northern Illinois 5-0, and won against Rhode Island 6-1.
The Jayhawks started the first inning off hot as freshman left fielder Presley Limbaugh reached first base on an error and senior catcher Lyric Moore slammed a home run to center field to open the scoring, 2-0.
After an uneventful second inning, Kansas put another run on the board with senior center fielder Shayna Espy scoring on sophomore utility player Olivia Bruno’s sacrifice flyout. Kansas closed out the third inning ahead 3-0.
The last two runs of the game were scored in the fifth inning off of a base-clearing double from Bruno that scored Limbaugh and senior utility player Peyton Renzi. The Jayhawks shut out the Huskies 5-0.
The standout from this game was Olivia Bruno, who batted 1.000 in the game, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Junior left-handed pitcher Kasey Hamilton also stood out with four strikeouts, one walk and allowed five hits.
The tournament's final game against Rhode Island began similarly to the day before, with no runs being scored until the bottom of the third inning with Espy singling to center field to score Renzi to make the game 1-0.
Espy then added to the score when she was sent home off a walk to Bruno, then senior third baseman Ashlyn Anderson hit a sacrifice fly to send Limbaugh home. The inning ended with Kansas leading 3-0.
Rhode Island came back the next inning scoring a run of their own when graduate third baseman Elena Gonzalez hit a double in the first at-bat of the inning. After two sacrifice flyouts, Gonzalez reached home making the game 3-1.
However, the Jayhawks answered back in the fifth inning, when after an error by Gonzalez got junior third baseman Katie Gee to first base, freshman utility player Hailey Cripe hit a three-run home run to bring Kansas’ lead to 6-1, which remained the case for the rest of the game.
Kansas’ sophomore right-handed pitcher Katie Brooks had a great game, with four strikeouts, three walks and only allowed one run and two hits.
Kansas finished the tournament 2-3 and move their record on the season to 12-8. The Jayhawks are play in Lawrence for the first time this season to start the Jayhawk Invitational on March 10 with a doubleheader, beginning with Central Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. and Stanford at 4 p.m.