Kansas Flawless in Southern Run-Rule, 14-0
Feb. 23, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Freshman Kylee Kennedy drilled a two-run homer in her first career at bat to highlight a dominating complete-game effort from the Kansas softball team, who run-ruled Southern, 14-0, Saturday afternoon at Chapman Field.
Kansas (10-3) moved to 3-0 in the Islanders Classic after scoring 14 runs on 14 hits, while surrendering only an infield single to defeat Southern (0-14) in a dominating performance. In the first three games of the Islanders Classic, the potent Jayhawk offense has totaled 49 hits for a .490 team batting average, which includes 10 doubles and two homers, including Kennedy’s.
“I had the support of my teammates the whole time,” Kennedy said. “I knew they wanted it and my coaches wanted it just as much as I wanted it. It was really nice to have their support throughout the whole at bat. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, since I was little, so I was more than ready.”
Redshirt junior Alex Jones (3-0) threw her fifth career shutout and a bunt single in the fourth was all that kept the captain from a no-hitter. She struck out seven and walked three in the win. Meanwhile, the offense behind her stayed red hot. Sophomore catcher Maddie Stein set the pace with a career-high six RBIs on a 3-for-4 day that included a pair of doubles, bringing her a team-leading 20 RBIs on the season. Her six runs driven in marked the most by a Jayhawk since Marissa Ingle knocked in six against Bethune-Cookman on Feb. 19, 2011.
At the plate, Jones helped her own cause, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Junior second baseman Ashley Newman was a perfect 3-for-3 and scored twice, while senior first baseman Mariah Montgomery also had a multi-hit day, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs to move her into third all-time on the Kansas career RBI list (115).
Although untraditional, freshman designated player Alex Hugo tallied her team-leading fourth homer of the season. Her bomb in the top of the first was a three-run inside the park blast.
Ready to roll out of the gate, Kansas busted loose for four runs in the top of the first. Jones led off with a speedy bunt single to kickstart the inning, while Stein and Montgomery tagged singles to produce the first run.
Hugo came through next when she drilled a line drive to the right field corner and sprinted around the bases for an infield home run to hand KU a 4-0 lead after the opening frame.
Southern starter Kendyl Stevenson (0-3) kept the Jayhawks off the board in the second and third, but they came back in a big way in the top of the fourth. Singles from sophomore third baseman Chanin Naudin and Newman sandwiched an error to load the bases with one out. Senior left fielder Maggie Hull drew an RBI walk, who sits right behind Montgomery with 114 career RBIs, and everyone scored when Stein followed that with a bases-clearing double to highlight the five-run inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Jones made a heads up play when designated player Gailyn Thibeaux laid down a bunt in front of the plate. After the bunt stayed fair for the infield single, Jaguar pinch runner Jasmine Payne advanced to third. While Jones checked the runner at first, Payne rounded the bag and looked to the plate, but Jones caught her off the bag with a throw down to third base, ending the inning. Although the no-hitter was broken, she kept the shutout intact.
Jones’ play sent the Jayhawks back to the plate for an explosive top of the fifth. Senior right fielder Rosie Hull led off the inning with a single behind second base, putting a runner on board for Kennedy.
Smith signaled for the pinch hitter and Kennedy delivered, nearly clearing the scoreboard in left with her first career homer in her first collegiate at bat. The emotional moment only fueled the fire as Newman, Jones and Hull loaded the bases for Stein to break her career-RBI mark with a two-run double. Montgomery’s sacrifice fly ended the scoring onslaught, 14-0.
Jones struck out two more in the Jaguars’ 1-2-3 fifth to end the game via run-rule, KU’s sixth of the year.
Kansas will look to sweep the Islanders Classic on Sunday morning against the New Mexico Lobos. First pitch is scheduled for 9 a.m.
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