Hile's Home Run Lifts KU Softball Over Stetson in Extra Innings, Jayhawks Remain Perfect on the Season

Feb. 19, 2011

DELAND, Fla. –

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Senior Brittany Hile hit a two-run home run and freshman Kendra Cullum earned a bases loaded walk in the top of the eighth inning to help lift the Kansas softball team to an 11-8 victory over Stetson Saturday evening to keep its win streak alive at 9-0, the best start in program history.

Tied 8-8 after seven innings, Hile launched her second homer of the day and fourth of the weekend over the left field fence to give Kansas a 10-8 advantage. Cullum walked in one last run for the Jayhawks following a pair of singles and base on balls.

Stetson (3-4) had an opportunity to score in the bottom of the eighth with bases loaded but a heads up play by Newman at shortstop saved a run while Clark forced a Stetson batter into an easy popup to Mariah Montgomery at second to end the game.

KU used three pitchers in the effort with senior Allie Clark earning her second-straight win of the day as she improved to 5-0. Clark tossed the final four and one third innings allowing just one hit and no runs while fanning two batters.

Offensively, seven different Jayhawks combined for 12 hits led by sophomore Rosie Hull’s 3-for-4 outing at the plate. Sophomores Montgomery and Maggie Hull and freshman Ashley Newman also had multiple knocks as each contributed two hits a piece.

As usual, Kansas got off to a strong start putting up four runs in the opening frame. Junior Liz Kocon hit a fly ball to right field that bounced off the top of the fence and back into fair play for an RBI double. Kocon didn’t have to wait on base long though as Maggie Hull sent a round-tripper into the bleachers in left field to plate Kocon and Montgomery and give the Jayhawks a 4-0 lead. Hull drove in a team-best five runs during the contest.

The Hatters responded right away scoring seven runs over the first three innings, including three unearned runs in the third, to take over the lead at 7-6. KU had tallied two more runs in the top of the third on a Maggie Hull ground out and RBI single from Newman.

Stetson strung together three more singles in the fourth to further extend its advantage to 8-6.

Kansas finally knotted the score in the top of the fifth when Maggie Hull drove in a run off her team-high fourth double of the season. Then, Newman’s hit bounced off the pitcher’s glove and rolled between the shortstop’s legs and into the grass allowing Hull to score from second.

KU will wrap up play in the Stetson Hatter Invitational in the title game versus Stetson at 11 a.m. CST on Sunday, Feb. 20.

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Kansas 17, Bethune-Cookman 7 (six innings)

Already off to its best start in program history, Kansas softball unloaded 18 hits, including six home runs, to top Bethune-Cookman 17-7 in five innings Saturday morning.

KU’s 18 hits were its most knocks in a game since the Jayhawks had 19 hits versus UMKC on March 28, 2006. The Wildcats lost to KU for the third time this season and dropped to to 1-6 on the year.

Junior Liz Kocon had two round-trippers, while senior Brittany Hile, junior Marissa Ingle, sophomore Mariah Montgomery and freshman Laura Vickers also hit home runs. Kansas already has 15 home runs on the season in just eight games.

Ingle went 4-for-4 from the plate to lead the Jayhawks with six runs batted in versus BCU. Hile and Montgomery each drove in three runs and Kocon also had multiple RBIs with two.

Kansas set the tone early as Ingle and Montgomery both had three-run homers in the first inning. Sophomore Maggie Hull tacked on one last run in the inning with an RBI double to give the Jayhawks a 7-0 lead following their first at bat.

Despite KU holding a commanding 9-0 after two innings, Bethune-Cookman did not back down. After scoring three runs in the third inning, the Wildcats added four more tallies in the top of the fourth to come within two runs, 9-7. BCU had bases loaded and one out in the fourth when junior transfer Ashley Spencer forced a Wildcat batter to ground into a double play and end the possibility of more runs.

KU quickly expanded its lead again in the bottom of the frame when Kocon and Vickers led off the fourth with back-to-back home runs and freshman Ashley Newman scored on an error.

Hile and Ingle helped end the game early in the fifth inning when Ingle hit a bases loaded, two RBI single and Hile hit a three-run homer.

Senior Allie Clark pitched the first three and one third innings to earn the win and improve to 4-0 from the circle. Spencer picked up her first career save.