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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Jayhawks go deep in Big 12 opener

Late homers save KU in extra-inning win

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— The Kansas University softball team figured the long ball worked so well forcing extra innings, why not use it one more time once it got there?

Sophomore Dougie McCaulley and senior Nicole Washburn clubbed back-to-back solo home runs with two outs in the seventh inning to give the Jayhawks new life, and freshman Sarah Ramirez added her own solo shot in the ninth, the decisive blow in a 4-3 victory against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.

KU (22-9-1 overall, 1-0 Big 12) opened the scoring in the top of the first when McCaulley reached base after a dropped third strike and eventually came home on an RBI groundout by Elle Pottorf.

Oklahoma State (20-18, 0-1) went ahead with two runs in the fifth against KU starter Kassie Humphreys (11-3), then tacked on a final run in the sixth on a solo homer by Krystle Sanchez.

That set the stage for the Jayhawks' homer-fueled comeback against OSU starter Anna Whiddon (8-5), who went the distance in the loss.

Humphreys also worked all nine innings, striking out 12 and leaving her four punchouts shy of KU coach Tracy Bunge for fourth place on KU's all-time list.

The two teams will meet again at 1 p.m. today to conclude the two-game series.

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