Kansas Suffers First Shutout at TAMU-Corpus Christi, 1-0
Feb. 21, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Sophomore Alicia Pille surrendered a single run and struck out six, but Kansas’ first scoreless effort of the season saw Texas A&M-Corpus Christi take the 1-0 win in the first game of the weekend, Thursday afternoon at Chapman Field.
Kansas (7-3) tallied a season-low four hits in the loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-8), an uncharacteristic performance for the offense that’s led the Big 12 in batting average through the first two weeks of the season.
“We need to be more aggressive,” head coach Megan Smith said. “I think we were really passive in all areas of the game today. (Alicia) Pille didn’t attack their hitters, our defense didn’t attack when they were making plays and our offense certainly didn’t attack that pitcher. Tomorrow we have to come out and be in attack mode. That’s when we’re good – when we attack the game – we didn’t do that today.”
Pille (3-1) saw players reach base throughout the afternoon, but a bases-loaded walk was the only run she allowed. The next batter grounded into a double play to keep the Islanders from scoring again with the bags packed, but the single-run lead stood for the remainder of the afternoon.
Senior captain Maggie Hull battled a stomach virus prior to the first game of the weekend, but was able to make her 170th-consecutive start by stepping in at the designated player position and was one of four Jayhawks to tally a hit. She and the other three captains, redshirt junior Alex Jones, sophomore Maddie Stein and senior Mariah Montgomery each posted singles.
For the Islanders, who recorded only one more hit than the Jayhawks, first baseman Meagan McKinney had a game-high two hits. Constance Bradenburg (2-4) starred for the home team, striking out a career-high nine batters while walking one.
A pair of walks and an infield single saw Pille run into trouble in the bottom of the first, but a groundout ended the threat to keep the Islanders off the board. After allowing two runners to reach in the first, Pille went on to retire the side in order in the second.
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks were finding ways to get on base, but couldn’t find a way to scratch a run across. Jones and Hull posted back-to-back infield singles and executed the double steal to put runners on second and third in the top of the third, but Bradenburg sat the next two Jayhawks to continue her shutout.
The Islander starter received offensive backing in the bottom half of the frame when leadoff hitter Mickayla Cochran scored on the bases loaded walk. TAMU-CC looked to strengthen its lead with the bags packed and one out, but Pille fielded a groundball to kick off the 1-2-3 double play to end the inning down, 1-0.
Pille went on to tally two strikeouts in both the fourth and the fifth, but the Jayhawk offense remained dormant.
Freshman shortstop Chaley Brickey made a two diving snags on line drives in the bottom of the sixth, but the defensive gems couldn’t rally the offense in the final frame. Bradenburg retired the Jayhawks in order in the seventh, making it 10-straight batters to end the game.
The Jayhawks will officially kickoff the Islanders Classic on Friday morning when they again take on TAMU-CC at 11 a.m. The Jayhawks will face Auburn for the second time this season at 1 p.m.
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