Kansas Takes Game One Over Iowa State, 8-3
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Iowa State softball team was the first out of the gates Friday night at Arrocha Ballpark against Kansas. However, the Jayhawks scored eight unanswered runs as Kansas took the first game of the series 8-3. The win improved Kansas to 31-21 overall, 5-11 in the Big 12. ISU is now 23-29-1 overall, 2-14 in conference play.
Early Runs for Iowa State
The Cyclones’ speedy 1-2 punch got the offense going to start the game. Brittany Gomez posted her 71st hit of the season with a lead-off bunt and Hawryluk followed that up with an infield single. Two batters later, Rachel Hartman was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Aly Cappaert hit a fly ball to left that was deep enough for the speedy Gomez to score and put ISU ahead 1-0.
After Jorden Spendlove drew a walk to load the bases again, Sara Davison brought home the second run with a single up the middle.
The Cyclone offense got back to work in the second as Liana Henry was hit by a pitch, Hawryluk got her second hit of the game and Lexi Slater drew a walk. Hartman popped up in foul ground, but the KU shortstop, Brickey had to make a running catch that allowed Henry enough time to get home and make it 3-0 Cyclones.
Kansas Strikes Back
The Jayhawks got its offense going in the bottom of the second as KU was able to load the bases with just one out. KU got two consecutive runs as Taylor McElhaney drew a walk and Ashley Newman hit a single up the middle. However, Katie Johnson was able to escape without further damage as a fielder’s choice and fly ball did the trick to get out of the jam.
Johnson would not be as fortunate in the third. Taylor Hatfield tied the game with an RBI-double and KU would take the lead in the next at-bat via an RBI-single from Taylor Dodson. McElhaney made it three consecutive at-bats with a KU run as she then hit a single to right-center to make it 5-3 Jayhawks. The Cyclones brought in Paris Imholz, but she got off to a rocky start as a bunt single and a sacrifice fly made it 6-3 Jayhawks.
Kansas then made it 7-3 in the bottom of the fourth as Chanin Naudin won an over 10-pitch battle against Imholz with a solo home run to left. KU would add another solo home run in the bottom of the fifth when Lily Behrmann took Imholz deep to center to make it 8-3.
In spite of the two home runs, Imholz pitched admirably, allowing four hits in 3.2 innings of work with three strikeouts and no walks allowed.
Brittany Gomez went 3-for-3 on the day, putting her up to 73 hits on the season. She is in pursuit of ISU’s single-season hits record, which is 77 by Jenny Condon in 1988. The 3-for-3 effort also boosted Gomez’s season batting average to .401. If Gomez finishes the season above .400, she would be the first Cyclone to hit over .400 since Mary Jo Collins in 1978, when she hit .435.
Game two of the series between the Cyclones and Jayhawks will be tomorrow at 2 p.m.