Houston Cougars

Kansas Outlasts Houston To Win Big 12 Tournament Opener

Kansas softball vs. Houston softball Big 12 Tournament

No. 7 Kansas jumped on No. 10 Houston and outlasted a late rally as the Jayhawks won their Big 12 Softball Tournament opener, 6-5, over the Cougars on Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

Hailey Cripe blasted a home run in the first, which gave Kansas (28-24) a 2-1 lead. In the fourth, Cripe doubled, which brought home three runs. Cripe finished 2-for-3 with 5 RBI and a run.

 

Presley Limbaugh paced the Jayhawks with a 3-for-4 with a run as she lifted her season average to .392. She grounded out in her first at-bat. But, after that, she singled in the second inning, singled in the fourth and singled in the sixth.

Ashlyn Anderson also had two hits from the No. 9 spot.

Left-handed pitcher Kasey Hamilton (11-15) claimed the victory and held Houston (25-30) to just three hits and two runs in the first six innings. But, in the seventh, the Cougars worked a rally and loaded the bases with one out.

Lair Beautae cashed in with  a two-RBI single to cut Kansas’ lead to 6-4 and the Jayhawks went to the bullpen for Lizzy Ludwig.

Hamilton went 6.1 innings, giving up seven hits and five runs, along with six strikeouts and two walks.

Ludwig allowed a walk and a fielder’s choice RBI grounder by Turiya Coleman to make it a one-run game.

 

But, the Cougars couldn’t tie the game, as Kennedy Thomas popped out to end the game. Ludwig recorded her second save.

Beautae was the only Cougars with at least two hits.

Shelby Smith (10-15) went the distance for the Cougars, giving up 12 hits and six runs. He also struck out one and walked one.

Kansas advances to Thursday’s quarterfinals, where it will face No. 2 seed Oklahoma at 1:30 p.m.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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