Big Seventh Inning Helps KU Softball Overcome Western Carolina
Behind a career-high seven strikeouts from pitcher Allie Clark and a career-tying 3-for-3 effort at the plate by both Val Chapple and Stevie Crisosto, the Kansas softball team edged out Western Carolina, 7-6, to rebound from a 3-2, nine-inning defeat earlier in the day.
With the split, KU moved to 3-3 on the season. The Catamounts dropped to 0-2 overall.
Crisosto finished 4-for-6 from the batter’s box in day one of the tournament, while she and Chapple each recorded their 29th career doubles to crack KU’s top 10 career doubles list.
Kansas is back in action tomorrow, Feb. 14, with a 4:30 p.m. contest scheduled against Bradley and a 6:30 p.m. game versus No. 11/12 Tennessee.
Game 2 – Kansas vs. Western Carolina
After six full innings, Kansas and Western Carolina were tied at six runs a piece, but the Jayhawks used a big seventh inning to overcome the Catamounts.
To get things started, Chapple led the final inning off with a double that bounced off the centerfield wall. Junior Amanda Jobe then followed with a single to right field moving Chapple all the way over to third. In the next play, sophomore Brittany Hile hit an RBI single to left field to score Chapple. When Hile decided to go for one more base, Western Carolina threw the ball out of reach of their second baseman so that Hile kept on going to third and Jobe was able to cross home plate to tie the game 6-6.
Liz Kocon came in to pinch hit next. The sophomore outfielder cranked a high fly ball to right field where it was caught, but the ball was hit deep enough to allow Hile to tag up at third and score to give the Jayhawks the 7-6 edge.
Kansas played solid defense in the bottom of the seventh to hold off the catamounts. Chapple and Hile made a great heads-up play for the final out of the contest. With a runner already on second, Western Carolina earned another base on balls. As the batter made her way down to first, the Catamount runner at second attempted to steal third, but Hile, who still had the ball at the plate, quickly made the throw to Chapple who was waiting at third for the tag.
Junior Sarah Vertelka entered the game in the sixth inning with KU down 4-3. She allowed just two hits in the final two innings to earn her first win of the season. Sophomore Allie Clark tossed the first five full innings striking out a career-high seven batters.
KU out-hit the Catamounts 11-6.
Chapple also became the second player of the day to crack KU’s top 10 career doubles list as she and Crisosto each recorded their 29th career doubles in day one of the UCF Early Bird Tournament.
Game 1 – Kansas vs. South Carolina
Despite taking the lead twice, the Kansas softball team lost to South Carolina, 3-2, in nine innings in the Jayhawks’ first game of the UCF Early Bird Tournament Friday morning.
Senior Elle Pottorf put the Jayhawks on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning when she hit a long fly ball over the left field fence for her first home run of the season and 16th of her career to put KU up 1-0.
Junior Amanda Jobe later broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the sixth inning, earning a base on balls to walk in Stevie Crisosto with bases loaded.
A pair of singles and a walk in SC’s next at bat quickly knotted the score once again.
The teams stayed tied through two and half innings, despite KU leaving three players on base in both the sixth and seventh innings, until South Carolina hit a fly ball in the bottom of the ninth inning that dropped in shallow left field. A Gamecocks’ runner on second made it safely to third but KU left fielder Liz Kocon thought the runner was going home. Kocon launched a throw to Pottorf at home plate but the toss sailed just over Pottorf’s glove and in to the back stop, which allowed the runner at third to score.
Crisosto had KU’s only other hit of the contest, a double in the first inning for her 29th career double-bagger, as she cracked into the top 10 of KU’s career doubles list.
Senior Val George pitched all nine innings for Kansas as she dropped to 2-2 from the pitcher’s circle. George struck out a season-high nine batters and allowed three runs, only one of which was earned.