Fresno, Calif. A couple of big swings lifted Kansas University to victory in its first softball game at the Fresno State Kickoff on Friday, but the Jayhawks couldn’t capitalize on enough opportunities to win its second.
Daniella Chavez hit a fifth-inning grand slam, and Harli Ridling’s solo shot sent KU to a 5-4 victory over UC Riverside early Friday.
But Kansas stranded 11 runners in a 5-3 loss to No. 24 Fresno State in the evening game.
The Game One homers made a winner of Ania Williams (1-0), who surrendered two hits over five scoreless innings.
“We love long balls and home runs, but you can’t rely on that and for some reason it’s kind of what we are doing right now,” KU coach Megan Smith said. “We worked counts better, we took walks, and Taylor McElhaney had a beautiful bunt to lead that big inning for us, so we are slowly getting there offensively. I would still like to see more consistency.”
Kansas consistently hit Frenso State’s Jill Compton (4-0). The Jayhawks collected eight hits, three for extra bases.
“On a positive we created a lot of opportunities, but on the negative, and what we need to work on, coming through with clutch hits,” Smith said. “I feel like we didn’t do that today, but created so many opportunities against an unbelievable pitcher. There were a lot of positives to build off today.”
KU will face Sacramento State and Fresno State as the Kickoff resumes today.
UC Riverside 022 000 0 — 4 7 0
Kansas 000 041 x — 5 7 1
W — Ania Williams, 1-0. L — Kaylynn Pierce, 1-2.
2B — Haley Harris, Chelsey Holley, UCR. HR —Daniella Chavez, Harli Ridling, KU.
Kansas highlights — Chavez 1-for-4, R, 4 RBIs, grand slam; Ridling 2-for-3, R, RBI; Eric McGinley 2-for-2, R; Chaley Brickey 1-for-1, R, 3 BB (ties KU career record of 108); Williams 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 3 K.
Kansas 000 021 0 — 3 8 0
Fresno State 120 020 x — 5 7 1
W — Jill Compton, 4-0. L — Alexis Reid, 0-4.
2B — Chaley Brickey, Shannon McGinley, KU; Kierra Willis, FS. HR — Taylor Dodson, KU; Willis, FS.
Kansas highlights — Dodson 1-for-2, R, 2 RBIs; Lily Behrmann 1-for-3, RBI.