Kansas Claims Seahawk Classic, Captures Longest Win Streak in 20 Years
Feb. 26, 2012
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Red-hot offense and a one-hitter from Kristin Martinez led the Kansas softball team to a dominant 14-0 run-rule victory against Fairfield as the Jayhawks claimed their second tournament title in as many weeks their longest win streak in nearly 20 years Sunday morning.
Kansas (12-2) clinched the Seahawk Classic, handily taking down Fairfield (3-2) for the Jayhawks’ 12th-consecutive victory, marking the longest win streak by a Jayhawk squad since a 13-game span in March of 1992. The 12-game streak marks the third double-digit win mark the Jayhawks have strung together Megan Smith’s three years as head coach.
“We’re trying to build consistency within our program and bring the same intensity every time they come out here,” Smith said. “They’ve answered that call. They are doing what we’ve asked them to do and we’re very happy with that.”
Sophomore Kristin Martinez (3-0) threw a gem in the circle, posting her first complete game shutout of 2012 by allowing a single hit in the second inning. She would not allow another and went on to strike out five and walk one in the victory.
“She’s moving the ball and hitting her spots,” Smith said. “She’s just dominant right now – going out there and throwing the ball where she’s supposed to throw it every single time. She has command over her pitches and is keeping hitters off balance. She did a great job today.”
The Jayhawk bats supported their starting pitcher from first pitch as KU sent 19 batters to the plate en route to building an 8-0 lead by the end of the second inning. Junior shortstop Mariah Montgomery was one of several Jayhawks to produce in the championship showing, blasting a three-run homer just three batters into the game. The junior captain finished the morning with a career-high four RBIs and three runs scored on a 2-for-3 day.
Montgomery had plenty of help as eight different Jayhawks recorded an RBI in the win. Fellow junior captain Maggie Hull churned out her team-leading sixth multi-hit performance of the season, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, while her twin sister, Rosie, ripped a two-run homer to right center. Her second of the year to ensured the run-rule, pushing KU to the 10-0 lead in the bottom of the third before her team tacked on four more in its next at bat.
Kansas brought plenty of speed to complement that power with Elsa Moyer leading the charge. The sophomore centerfielder recorded a career-best 3-for-3 effort with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. Leadoff hitter and speedster Ashley Newman racked up her team-leading eighth stolen base of the year and also crossed the plate twice.
“We’ve seen it in spurts,” Smith said regarding the team’s offensive balance. “But today we saw it all come together. We’ve got the speed that can beat out the infield hit, and we’ve got the power that can hit the ball over the fence. It’s exciting to see all of that come together, and we saw it this weekend.”
Freshman catcher Lexi Bryant and redshirt senior right fielder Liz Kocon also chipped in multi-hit showings, while Kocon’s RBI single in the fourth moved her four RBIs away from becoming the Kansas all-time RBI leader.
In their trip to the plate, Newman and Maggie Hull both reached to leadoff the inning before Montgomery drove her knocked out her team-best third homer of the year for the early 3-0 lead heading to the top of the second.
Already equipped with all the runs she would need, Martinez headed out for the top of the second where she would surrender the only hit of the game to Fairfield’s Rae Ball. The hit was short-lived as Moyer track down the single and threw Ball out at second for the first out of the inning.
After her highlight-reel assist, Moyer came to the plate twice in the bottom of the second – one of two times KU batted completely around on Sunday – and singled each time. Maggie Hull, Montgomery, Bryant and senior first baseman Marissa Ingle all racked up hits in the five-run inning that put the game away.
Kocon and Bryant each drove in runs in the Jayhawks’ final at bat of the tournament, and Rosie Hull took one for the team to also bring home a run and land at a season-best 14 runs for the shutout victory.
Kansas will check out the southern half of the Carolinas when the Jayhawks travel to Charleston, S.C., for the Charleston Southern Tournament, March 2-4. KU will open the weekend against Big East foe Connecticut at 10 a.m. CT.
Friday, Feb. 24
vs. Fairfield: W, 5-3
vs. Gardner-Webb: W, 5-1
Saturday, Feb. 25
vs. UNC Wilmington: W, 9-1 (5)
vs. UNC Wilmington: W, 3-0
Sunday, Feb. 26
vs. Fairfield, W, 14-0 (5)