Big Hits Send NC State Past Kansas, 5-2
March 2, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. – Five Jayhawks put up multiple hits, but four home runs from North Carolina State gave the weekend’s host all it needed to top Kansas, 5-2, Saturday evening at Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Softball Stadium.
Kansas (13-5) and NC State (9-5-1) had not met prior to the 2013 campaign, but Saturday’s matchup marked the teams’ third meeting of the season. Though the Jayhawks outhit the home team 12-8, half of the Wolfpack’s hits cleared the fence to take the season series two games to one.
“NC State had a really good game,” head coach Megan Smith said. “Offensively, I thought we did some really good things, but we weren’t able to string them together when we needed it. I thought NC State did a great job offensively. They came up with some big hits when they needed them and their pitcher kept them in the ballgame. Kudos to them, they did a great job.”
Seniors Maggie Hull, Rosie Hull and Mariah Montgomery, freshman Chaley Brickey and sophomore Chanin Naudin each posted two hits to lead the Kansas offense, but the Jayhawks were crippled by 14 runners left on base. Junior second baseman Ashley Newman and Montgomery drove in KU’s lone runs of the game.
After the Jayhawks outscored their opponents 49-0 in the first three games of the weekend, the pitching in Saturday night’s matchup set the tone for a much closer contest. Sophomore starters Alicia Pille (4-3) and Emily Weiman (9-4) held their respective offense scoreless through the first two innings, until a pair of solo homers from the Wolfpack broke the silence in the bottom of the third.
Consequently, Pille took the loss for the Jayhawks. Of the four hits she scattered over three innings, three of them were home runs. She struck out five and walked none before being lifted in the fourth for reliever Kelsey Kessler. In three innings, Kessler struck out three and gave up one run – also a homer – marking the third time this season NC State has hit four home runs in a game.
Right fielder Scout Albertson led the NC State offense with two home runs, while centerfielder Caitlin Dent and shortstop Renada Davis accounted for the other two. Only two other players recorded a hit for the Wolfpack.
Following the two solo shots in the third, Kansas worked to fight back in the fourth. Singles from Montgomery and Naudin loaded the bases with only one out. Weiman buckled down, however, and kept the Jayhawks off the board with a ground ball and a strikeout.
Kansas would go on to load the bases in the fifth, sixth and seventh. Montgomery drove in a run in the fifth, but the big hit never came. With one out in the top of the seventh, Rosie Hull, Naudin and Brickey rallied for three-straight hits. A groundout to the right side from Newman plated a run, but it would be the last. Weiman fielded her position for the final out of the evening.
Montgomery’s RBI in the fifth upped her career total to 119, third all-time at Kansas. Hull’s pair of singles gave her 187 for her career, one short of tying former Jayhawk Jill Larson for seventh on KU’s career list.
Kansas will wrap up its stay in North Carolina on Sunday against Stony Brook. The Jayhawks defeated the Seawolves 12-0 on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 9 a.m. CT.
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