Kansas Ties Second-Longest Win Streak in School History, Defeats CSU, 6-3
March 2, 2012
CHARLESTON, S.C. –Ignoring a seventh-inning rally from the tournament host, the Kansas softball team buckled down to defeat Charleston Southern, 6-3, pushing the Jayhawks’ win streak to 14, tying the second-longest win span in program history, Friday evening.
After securing a solid 6-1 lead heading into the top of the seventh, Kansas (14-2) appeared to have its 14th-consecutive victory firmly in hand. A coin toss before the game ruled KU as the home team, leaving the Jayhawks just three outs shy as they entered the top half of the inning. Charleston Southern (10-7) wasn’t ready to go down without a fight, as the Buccaneers hit a two-run homerun and continued to threaten with runners on second and third with one out.
The Jayhawk pitchers didn’t waiver, however, after starter Morgan Druhan (5-0) was relieved for sophomore Kristin Martinez for the final two outs of the game. Druhan, who has not recorded a loss at Kansas, finished her 6.1 innings of work and Martinez closed the door on the Bucs for the win and the save, respectively.
Sophomore Ashley Newman was unstoppable on offense. The Jayhawk second baseman churned out the first four-hit game of her career – making her a combined 7-for-8 on the first day of the Charleston Southern Tournament.
Junior right fielder Rosie Hull also produced a multi-hit showing, going 2-for-3 highlighted by a two-run double during the Jayhawks’ four-run third inning. Seniors Marissa Ingle and Liz Kocon drove in RBIs, bringing Kocon three RBIs away from becoming the all-time RBI leader at Kansas.
The Jayhawks took advantage of an early throwing error to scratch their first run across in the bottom of the first, but held the lead only momentarily. Buccaneer first baseman Linzy Rother led off the top of the second with a solo shot to centerfield to knot the game, 1-1.
Unfazed, KU immediately reclaimed the lead in its next at bat.
All season long, Newman has made a habit of flying down the first base line for bunt singles. She nearly perfected that act on Friday. In the bottom of the third, she led off with her second bunt single of the game and junior left fielder Maggie Hull moved her over with a sac bunt. Junior shortstop Mariah Montgomery joined her on the bases with a single up the middle. Kocon’s RBI followed, boosting the lead to 2-1 until Rosie Hull’s two-out double broke the game open.
Still rallying on two outs, Ingle connected on the RBI single that brought home Kocon – the Jayhawks’ third run of the inning on two outs – and KU took a 5-1 advantage into the fourth.
In the fifth, Maggie Hull knocked a long fly ball into left, putting sophomore centerfielder Elsa Moyer into motion. A bad throw into the infield got away from the cutoff and Moyer took off for home for an additional insurance run.
Although Druhan allowed a walk in the fourth and the fifth, the Bucs weren’t able to get a solid rally going against the visiting Jayhawks. In the top of the sixth, a walk and a single put two runners aboard with one out, but Druhan kept her cool and tossed back-to-back pop ups to short, which Montgomery easily put away to end the threat.
It ended the threat, that is, until the top of the seventh.
CSU shortstop Megan Lombard led off the inning by taking a pitch off the arm to reach base. Two batters later, left fielder Jana Matthews turned on a pitch and sent it over the left field wall, cutting the KU lead, 6-3. Druhan issued a walk to the next batter, and Martinez was called in to take over. The first batter she faced connected on a double, moving the Bucs’ runners to second and third with one out.
Martinez quickly regrouped and threw into a groundout and fly out to end the game and pick up her first save of the season.
Kansas will take on Wisconsin at 8 a.m. CT to start day two of the Charleston Southern Tournament. A victory would give the 2012 Jayhawks the second-longest win streak outright. The 1990, 1986 and 1983 squads also racked up a 14-game streaks.
Friday, March 2
vs. Connecticut, W, 8-0 (6)
vs. Charleston Southern, W, 6-3
Saturday, March 3
vs. Wisconsin, 8 a.m. CT
vs. Bracket Play Decision, TBA
Sunday, March 4
vs. Connecticut, 12 p.m. CT