Washburn Rural alums help lead KU softball to its winning season

Washburn Rural alums help lead KU softball to its winning season
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 12:17 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas softball surpassed its 2022 win count this past weekend, winning the weekend series over Texas Tech 2-1, and advancing to a 22-21 record with only seven games remaining in the regular season.

Two Jayhawks leading the charge, LHP Kasey Hamilton and UTL Olivia Bruno, are familiar faces for Washburn Rural fans.

”The potential is looking great this year,” said Hamilton. “Obviously we’re already above .500 and this program’s only on the come up.”

The two former Junior Blues have definitely enjoyed being a part of the winning culture the program is instilling this season.

“Our team chemistry is like off the charts right now,” said Bruno. We all love each other, we’re all a family. And we’re all willing to put in extra work to go above and beyond what we did last year.”

It’s Bruno’s second year in Lawrence, and Hamilton’s third.

“It’s awesome to be on this program for three years now, and just only see growth. And that’s obviously the goal. That’s why I came to Kansas. I wanted to be a part of the impact of making this program better, and that’s all we’ve been seeing,” said Hamilton.

Not only are they a part of the program’s turnaround, they’re at the front of the efforts.

Hamilton, the 2020 Shawnee County Female Athlete of the Year, has 84 strikeouts this season, pitching 110 innings with a 9-7 record as a starter.

“At the end of the day, I just wanna be a solid pitcher in the circle for my team. I wanna be someone that they can trust, and I feel like we’ve built a good foundation with our pitching staff in this team this year,” she said. “So we’re just gonna keep working hard in the circle and doing what we can to win games.”

On the other side of the game, Bruno has 18 runs, 27 hits and 8 homers. Not to mention, she led the team in home runs as a freshman in 2022.

“Half the time I don’t even know they’re going out,” she laughed. “So it’s really cool when stuff like that happens, hitting it out of the park. But it’s really cool to see my teammates working hard on the field.”

The two have felt the support from their roots back in Topeka every step of the way.

“I love it on Twitter. I see all my Topeka fans, Topeka family, reaching out and giving me my congratulations. It’s awesome,” Hamilton said. “I love the community that’s built around softball in this area.”

“It’s just cool to have them so close, and just being able to see them,” Bruno said.