Jayhawk softball returns from Florida after a 4-1 weekend, moving their record to 21-2 on the season. With the exception of one game, the KU offense was explosive during the weekend, and KU put up three fifth inning run-rule games. On to the action!
Friday, March 6
Kansas 8, La Salle 1
The game was close through six innings, as Kansas failed to capitalize on multiple baserunners on base throughout the early innings until finally putting up a 6 spot in the top of the 7th inning to ice the game. Kansas would end up stranding 16 baserunners in the game. KU was led offensively by RF Lily Behrmann (3/4, BB, 2 R, 2 RBI) and SS Chaley Brickey (2/5, 3 RBI, R). SP Bryn Houlton (5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 K) picked up her second win of the year.
Kansas 11, Chattanooga 1 (5 Innings)
The Jayhawks put up seven runs in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to a five inning run-rule win in their second game of the day. CF Briana Evans (2/2, BB, R, RBI) and 1B/C Maddie Stein (2/3, 2 R, 2 RBI) led KU offensively. Ace SP Alicia Pille (5.0 IP, 2 H, R, BB, 8 K) had another solid outing for the Jayhawks and pushed her record to 10-0.
Saturday, March 7
Chattanooga 4, Kansas 0
Jayhawk hitters were stymied by Chattanooga starter Cori Jennings, only picking up three hits during the contest. KU was shutout by an opposing pitcher for just the first time this season. Kansas coach Megan Smith was upset afterwards that her team was unable to make any in-game adjustments offensively. SP Monique Wesley only went three innings, but seemed to be effective, giving up no runs while allowing one hit and a walk.
Kansas 10, Stetson 1 (5 innings)
KU became the first Big 12 team to reach 20 wins in 2015 as the Jayhawks collected 10 or more hits for the 10th time this season. KU's offense also banged multiple home runs for the fifth time in 2015. KU was led by RF Lily Behrmann (2/3, HR, BB, 2 R, 4 RBI) and SS Chaley Brickey (2/4, HR 2 R, 2 RBI). SP Alicia Pille (5.0 IP, 2 H, BB, R, 4 K) worked all five innings for yet another complete game and picked up her 11th win of the year, making her record 11-0.
Sunday, March 8
Kansas 11, Chattanooga 3 (5 innings)
The Jayhawks drew a rubber match with the Mocs of Chattanooga, and this time the offense stayed hot. KU got their revenge on Chattanooga starter Cori Jennings (2.2 IP, 9 R, 5 H, 5 BB, K), roughing her up this time around. KU was led offensively by CF Briana Evans (2/2, BB, R), 1B Maddie Stein (2/3, R, 2 RBI), and DH Daniella Chavez (1/2, HR, BB, R, 4 RBI). Chavez's HR was her third grand slam for the Jayhawks this year. SP Alicia Pille (5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K) went the distance again and moved to 12-0 on the year.
"For us to come down here and play Stetson and Chattanooga, who both are NCAA Tournament teams and will be again this year I would imagine, and play them well – it was a great weekend," Smith said. "We got punched by Chattanooga yesterday, but came back and responded. That's good for us.
"I really like the fact that we played Chattanooga three times – we played an NCAA Tournament team in a three-game set this weekend and it kind of helps us understand how conference is going to be. Third games of a series are usually battles of teams that are making adjustments. That's what this one was and it was great to see our kids respond."
KU will begin a 12-game homestand with the Jayhawk Invitational on Fri-Sun, March 13-15. The Invitational will feature opponents Northern Colorado, Idaho State, and Nebraska-Omaha. You can catch all KU softball games (home and away) on the Jayhawk Radio Network.