Kansas Wins Eighth-Straight, Takes Down Fairfield, 5-3
Feb. 24, 2012
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Three home runs powered the Kansas softball team to a come from behind 5-3 win against Fairfield in the opening game of the Seahawk Classic hosted by UNC Wilmington, Friday morning.
Kansas (8-2) chalked up its eighth-straight victory after Fairfield (0-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Senior first baseman Marissa Ingle and junior shortstop Mariah Montgomery each belted their second home runs of the year, and junior left fielder Maggie Hull recorded her first as KU plated all five runs using the long ball in the first three-homer game of 2012.
Sophomore Kristin Martinez (2-0) collected her first win in relief of 2012, when she came in and tossed four shutout innings. She struck out two and surrendered just two hits in the final four innings.
Freshman Maddie Stein made her first start of the season behind the plate on Friday morning, and responded with a 2-for-3 day, joining sophomore second baseman Ashley Newman and all three home run hitters as the five Jayhawks to cross the plate.
The Stags took the early lead by finding crafty ways to score in their first at bat. Second baseman Kristen Filicia and centerfielder Mikayla Shumate led off the game with singles before Montgomery fielded a groundball to get the fielder’s choice out at second. With runners at first and third, a double steal plated the first run of the game.
Two batters later, a squeeze bunt from third baseman Alli Wigand gave Fairfield the early two-run cushion.
Pille briefly settled in, keeping the Stags off the board for the next two innings while picking up her first home run of support. After two quick line-drive outs, Montgomery stepped in and sailed a Rae Ball delivery over the left field fence for the Jayhawks’ first run – and first hit – of the game.
Fairfield answered in the next at bat when Ball (0-1), the starting pitcher, helped herself with a solo shot to centerfield. Although the Stags took the 3-1 lead, they wouldn’t score again.
Ball’s homer ended Pille’s start, who allowed three runs in her three innings of work while striking out four. Martinez took over from there, coaxing three-straight groundouts to end the inning. Although the Stags would threaten with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Martinez and the Jayhawk defense would work out of it unscathed.
With the Stags offense under control, the Kansas offense went to work.
Stein led off the pivotal four-run bottom of the fourth with a rope to center field, landing her on second base to watch Ingle drill her second home run of the season to tie the game, 3-3.
The Jayhawks weren’t done. Two outs later, sophomore second baseman Ashley Newman beat out an infield single to give Maggie Hull room to knock out her first home run of the season, handing the Jayhawks the 5-3 lead they would hold for the remainder of the game.
Friday, Feb. 24
vs. Fairfield: W, 5-3
vs. Gardner-Webb: 11:15 a.m. CT
Saturday, Feb. 25
vs. UNC Wilmington: 11:15 a.m. CT
vs. Bracket Play Decision, TBA
Sunday, Feb. 26
vs. Bracket Play Decision, TBA