LAWRENCE, Kan. — Freshman Lizzy Ludwig tossed a gem Wednesday night, throwing her second complete game of the season to lift Kansas to a 3-1 victory over No. 18 Wichita State at Arrocha Ballpark.
Ludwig allowed just one run on four hits, while striking out a pair to help the Jayhawks improve to 23-24 on the season heading into a pivotal three-game home series against Iowa State. The Shockers suffered just their ninth loss of the season and fell to 43-9.
“This was huge for us. It was the start of what we’ve talked about all week long,” said Head Coach Jennifer McFalls. “We wanted to focus on this game tonight and not get ahead of ourselves. We took care of business tonight and now we have three more we have to take care of this weekend. They know what’s on the line. They’re very locked in, and that’s what I love the most about them. They’re ready to compete, had great energy today and were focused. We have to bring that this weekend, and I think if we do that, we’ll be in good shape.”
Ludwig got her fourth start of the season in the circle. She was dominant throughout against one of the top hitting teams in the country. In the seventh inning, she pitched around a leadoff walk and got a fly out to left to end the game and improve to 4-7 on the season.
Both pitchers opened the game throwing three scoreless innings. However, Kansas was able to break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth. The scoring started when sophomore designated player Olivia Bruno drew a walk. McFalls brought in junior Angela Price to pinch run, and she stole second in the next at-bat.
With a runner in scoring position, senior third baseman Ashlyn Anderson singled through the left side and advanced to second to put another runner in scoring position. Freshman second baseman Hailey Cripe followed suit, singling up the middle to score the second run of the game and give Kansas a 2-0 lead heading to the fifth.
After a scoreless half inning from Ludwig, the Jayhawks added another run to their tally in the bottom of the fifth. Senior shortstop Haleigh Harper garnered her second single of the game and made her way to third, setting up a potential sacrifice fly. Senior right fielder Peyton Renzi answered and hit the sacrifice fly to left, giving Kansas a 3-0 lead.
The Shockers were finally able to get on the board in the top of the sixth. After opening the frame with a single, WSU drew a walk, putting runners on first and second. Wichita State singled to right to cut it to 3-1. With runners on the corners, Anderson made a great running play to end the inning and keep the lead at two. The Jayhawks still held a 3-1 lead as they went to the bottom half of the sixth.
The Kansas defense held strong in the top of the seventh to earn the win.
Cripe finished the night going 2-for-3 with one RBI at the dish and Harper finished a perfect 2-for-2 with one RBI.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win: Lizzy Ludwig (4-7)
Final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
Loss: Lauren Howell (18-3)
Final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO
- The Jayhawks are 18-5 when scoring first in the game,
- Kansas is 8-4 when scoring three runs or more.
- KU is 3-3 when it comes to 2-run victories.
- This is the Jayhawks fifth time this season holding its opponent to one run in a game.
- In her 26th appearance this season with her third start, Lizzy Ludwig improves her ERA to 2.25, ranking 11th in the Big 12 and earns her fourth win pitching a complete game.
- Haley Cripe had two hits and an RBI vs. Wichita State. This is Cripe’s second multi-hit game on the season.
- Haleigh Harper went 2-for-2, with a run vs. Wichita State. She has five multi-hit games on the season, which ties for the third best on the team.
- Ashlyn Anderson went 1-for-3 with an RBI, earning her 18th RBI on the season and her 80th RBI in her career. She has 30 hits the season and has 124 hits in her career.
- In her fourth start of the season, Peyton Renzi earns her fourth RBI of the season.
Kansas will host Big 12 foe Iowa State this weekend, May 5-7, at Arrocha Ballpark. All three games will be streamed via Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Fans can also listen to the live action on the Jayhawk Radio Network.