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Kansas Softball Advances to Second Round of Big 12 Championship


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. ( –Seventh seeded Kansas topped 10 seeded Houston 6-5 Wednesday night at OGE Energy Field at Devon Park in the first round of the Big 12 Championship.

Hailey Cripe tied the Big 12 Championship single-game record with five RBI and the Jayhawks produced 12 hits to take the first round matchup as Kansas improved to 28-14-1, its most wins since 2016, while Houston fell to 25-30.



  • Kasey Hamilton got the start in the circle, her 27th start of the season. Hamilton punched out the first batter of the game, before producing a flyout and another strikeout to end the first. She finished the game with six strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work.
  • Kansas got on the board first in the first inning. With two outs, All-Big 12 Second Team selection Lyric Moore drew a walk and advanced to second via wild pitch. In the next at-bat, Hailey Cripe hit a two-run shot to left center to give Kansas an early 2-0 lead in the first.
  • Houston answered right back in the top of the second. After getting runners on first and third, Houston fouled out to right, which prompted the runner on third to go home. However, the runner at first also tagged, and was thrown out at second by Anyslee Linduff for the double play to end the inning as Kansas led 2-1.
  • Ashlyn Anderson opened the bottom of the second with a bang. She tripled to right and was brought home off a sacrifice fly by Angela Price to extends KU’s lead to 3-1 heading into the third.
  • After a scoreless inning, the Jayhawks got back into the scoring column in the fourth. Three-straight singles by Anderson, Presley Limbaugh and Linduff loaded the bases and Cripe cleared the bases with a double off the wall to give Kansas a 6-1 lead at the end of the fourth.
  • The Cougars cut into KU’s lead in the sixth. A single, a stolen base and an error put runners on the corners. Houston scored its second run of the day off a sacrifice fly to right as Kansas still held a 6-2 lead.
  • Houston almost mounted a comeback in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back-to-back singles with one out loaded the bases. A fourth-straight single gave Houston two more runs to cut into KU’s lead, 6-4. The Cougars added another on a RBI groundout, but reliever Lizzy Ludwig forced a popup to give Kansas the 6-5 victory as she earned her second save of the season.


Win: Kasey Hamilton (11-14)
Final line: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 6 SO
Win: Lizzy Ludwig (2)
Final line: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO
Loss: Shelby Smith (10-15)
Final line: 6.0 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 1 SO


Cripe went 2-for-3 at the plate, including a two-run home run and a three-run double. Her five RBI tied a Big 12 Championships single-game record and was the first time someone achieved the feat since 2018.


“That just goes to show that everyone in this tournament is good and we know that Houston can swing it. Every run matters. I think we put ourselves in a tough position, not capitalizing in the inning before to score those runs. Most importantly, I’m super proud of the way we finished and the way Kasey Hamilton competed tonight, I thought she threw a heck of a game. Sometimes, we have to switch it up and Lizzy (Ludwig) came in and did exactly what Lizzy does, just getting us groundballs and popups. So we have to come back and get ready for tomorrow.” – Head Coach Jennifer McFalls

“I felt very comfortable today. I think going into the game, we were just relaxed. I think the key focus was to stay short and staying behind the pitch. We needed this one really bad, and as a team we wanted it really bad. The opportunity happened to come, and we capitalized as much as we could as a team. To know that it was in those clutch moments that our team got that win, it means a lot.” – Hailey Cripe


  • With its 28th win of the season, Kansas has its most wins since 2016 when the squad went 31-20.
  • This is the first time since 2006 and 2007 that Kansas has won a Big 12 Championship game in consecutive games. Last season, Kansas topped Oklahoma State 8-7 in comeback fashion.
  • Cripe hit her seventh home run of the season, a team high. Her five RBI tied the Big 12 Championships single-game record, the first time someone recorded five RBI in a single game since 2018.
  • Anderson hit her second triple of the season in the second inning, the fifth of her career. She is now just one triple away from reaching 10th on the Kansas career triples list.
  • Limbaugh went 3-for-4 at the dish, which increased her hitting streak to six games and tied her career-high of three hits, which she has done four times, most recently against BYU on May 2, 2024.
  • Moore caught a runner stealing in the sixth to put her season total at 12 runners caught, increasing her Big 12 lead.


Kansas will face off against No. 4 Oklahoma in the second round of the Big 12 Championship Thursday, May 9. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m. CT with every pitch being broadcasted via Big 12 Now on ESPN+.