Softball sweeps season series against Kansas


Mia Hennen/ The Sunflower

Sophomore Madyson Espinosa cheers for Wichita State before the game against KU begins on April 20. WSU defeated KU, 9-1.

For the second time this season, Shocker softball beat in-state rival Kansas, 9-1. Sophomore Addison Barnard climbed back into the top spot for home runs in the country, while senior Pitcher Erin McDonald collected her second win against KU this season. 

McDonald struck out seven batters in four innings and allowed only two hits. Bredbenner said McDonald did a solid job to keep some of KU’s top hitters away from driving the ball. 

“Not the command that we are continuing to work for but she had good enough​​ stuff to keep them off balance,” Bredbenner said.”I thought she really handled a couple hitters really really well.”

Both of KU’s hits in the second were off of McDonald’s change up. McDonald said she and her coaches decided to come up with a new plan and try to throw something out of the zone. 

“I think it was more of a regrouping more of a being like well okay if I do throw up my change up it’s gotta be in the dirt and just executing the fast ball where I don’t get behind in the count where I have to throw fastball, fastball instead of being able to to mix a rise in and stuff like that,” McDonald said. 

Senior Erin McDonald pitches the ball to KU’s batter inside Wilkins Stadium on April 20. (Mia Hennen/ The Sunflower)

Offensively, the Shockers produced at the plate by tallying four home runs during the first three innings. 

Sophomore Addison Barnard went 2-2 at the plate and hit back-to-back home runs in the first and third innings. 

“Today I was just really focused on seeing the ball and making up my mind if I’m going to hit it before the pitch is pitched because I’ve been struggling with that in the past weekend so just focused on really seeing the ball and not thinking too much,” Barnard said. 

In the starting lineup, the Shockers will return eight of their hitters for next season. Four of those hitters have a batting average of .300 or more this season. 

“We kind of have our own new murderers row in a young crew because you know you kind of pass that bat and as you continue to pass the bat.. We are not skipping a beat when it comes to that potential for offense there,” Bredbenner said.

The Shockers will go back to conference play on Friday, April 22-Sunday, April 24 with a series against Memphis. The Shockers are 7-2 in conference play so far this season.