Once again, Kansas softball returns to Lawrence after sweeping through the opposition at another weekend tournament. Originally scheduled to play five games in the North Florida Invitational, rain washed out two of those matchups, and KU took care of business in the remaining games.
Game 1 - Kansas 5, Stony Brook 4 (10 Innings)
KU met with Stony Brook early Friday morning to start the tournament. After falling behind 2-0 early, KU came back to tie it up and force extra-innings in what was a very entertaining game. Normally a 7-inning affair, this game went three extra frames and saw KU rally in both the eighth and ninth innings, finally winning it in the bottom of the tenth inning.
SP Monique Wesley only threw 3.0+ innings, and was pulled after allowing the leadoff batter on base in each of the first four innings, including a solo home run to begin the 4th. Bryn Houlton came in and shut the door on Stony Brook, going the rest of the way for KU. Houlton allowed two runs, both unearned, in 7.0 innings while recording four strikeouts, allowing only one hit, and not walking anyone.
Offensively, KU was led by CF Briana Evans (3/4, BB, R, RBI) and SS Chaley Brickey (3/4).
Game 2 - Kansas 1, North Florida 0
Friday afternoon Kansas played host North Florida. SP Ashley Pille was nearly unhittable that afternoon - literally. Pille took a no-hitter into the seventh inning when it was finally broken up by the leadoff batter with a single. Pille ran her record to 9-0 and picked up her 4th shutout in 10 games.
The Jayhawks scored their lone run in the top of the first inning, and Pille made it stand. Once again, Kansas was led offensively by Briana Evans (3/4, R). Overall, the KU offense struggled, tallying only seven hits in the contest.
Game 3 - Kansas 9, Siena 7
Saturday morning, Kansas met Siena. The Jayhawks had to put on an impressive rally to come from behind and defeat the winless Saints.
After scoring the first two runs of the game, Siena exploded for a six-spot in the top of the fourth inning. The Saints batted around through four different Kansas pitchers that inning. Immediately in the bottom of the fourth, the Jayhawks put runners on and struck back. DH Daniella Chavez capped the scoring with a grand slam home run to put Kansas up 9-6. SP Alicia Pille was pressed into duty after Siena put runners on in the top of the 5th, and recorded a three-inning save to preserve the KU victory. Pille struck out six in her three innings of work while allowing only one hit and walking none.
KU was led offensively by C Jessie Roane (3/3, R), DH Daniella Chavez (2/3, 4 RBI, 2 R) and CF Briana Evans (2/2, 2 BB, 2 R).
Games 4 & 5
Mother Nature claimed victory here, washing out Saturday afternoon's scheduled matchup with South Dakota. These same two teams were also supposed to meet again on Sunday morning, again washed out by rain.
Kansas will return to Florida next weekend for the Stetson Tournament - weather permitting, I'm sure. This time, Kansas will be in DeLand, FL, where the Jayhawks are scheduled to play five games with some combination of La Salle, Chattanooga, and Stetson starting on Friday morning.