Stillwater, Okla. Kansas University outhit Oklahoma State but stranded eight runners — including three in the seventh inning — of a 3-1 Big 12 softball loss to the Cowgirls on Sunday at Cowgirl Stadium.
Kansas (27-13 overall, 4-5 Big 12) had six hits and limited OSU (26-21, 4-8) to four.
“We’re not happy today,” KU coach Megan Smith said. “Overall in the series, we had one good game, but in the other two our offense was sub-par, to say the least. Offensively, we have to step it up if we’re going to compete in the Big 12.”
Alex Jones, a fourth-year junior center fielder, led the offensive effort, collecting half of KU’s six hits for her second three-hit game of the season. Freshman shortstop Chaley Brickey went 1-for-2 with a walk and drove in KU’s only run.
KU freshman Kelsey Kessler (7-5) surrendered four hits over six innings with six strikeouts.
“She pitched well enough for us to win that game,” Smith said. “She gave up a couple of hits, but overall kept us in the game. We had a lot of opportunities offensively and we didn’t capitalize.”
Senior Kat Espinosa (15-14) started the third straight game of the weekend, earning her second win.
An interference call helped Espinosa in the seventh. Junior second baseman Ashley Newman laid down a bunt and was struck with the ball as the OSU defense attempted to throw her out. The ball ricocheted off Newman and into right field, allowing the game-tying runs to score. The call was reversed when Newman was called out on interference, forcing both base runners to return to the bases.
Jones followed with a single to load the bases with only one out, but Espinosa retired the heart of KU’s order to collect the win.
Kansas senior left fielder Maggie Hull and first baseman Mariah Montgomery each made her 200th consecutive start.
The Jayhawks will travel for a doubleheader at UMKC at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Kansas 000 100 0 — 1 6 0
Oklahoma State 100 200 x — 3 4 0
W — Kat Espinosa, 15-14. L —Kelsey Kessler, 7-5.
2B — Erika Cmpbell, Dre McKee, OSU.
KU highlights — Alex Jones 3-for-4; Chanin Naudin 1-for-2, R; Chaley Brickey 1-for-2, RBI.