Kansas Gets Strong Start to Stop Stony Brook, 7-1
March 3, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. – Twelve strikeouts, no walks and a complete game effort from sophomore Alicia Pille led Kansas to a 7-1 win against Stony Brook in the final game of the Wolfpack Challenge, Sunday morning at Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Softball Stadium.
Kansas (14-5) finished the weekend 4-1 with two wins against Stony Brook (6-9) due in large part to a powerful offense. The Jayhawks outscored opponents, 58-6, while hitting .464 (70-for-151) as a team. In its final game of the Wolfpack Challenge, however, Kansas was led in the circle.
After taking the loss to North Carolina State the night before, Pille struck out a season-high 12 batters and walked none in her seven innings of work. The first hit and only run she allowed came via a solo homer in the top of the fourth. She gave up three more hits for the remainder of the game.
“That’s why we put her back out there,” head coach Megan Smith said. “We wanted to challenge her today and see if she could come out and redeem herself. I thought she threw extremely well. She was more poised in the circle and she really attacked their hitters, which is what she needed to do.”
The Jayhawks worked steadily through the opening innings, scoring in each of the first three to climb to its comfortable 7-0 lead by the end of the third. Kansas did so without the use of a home run, manufacturing three runs via sacrifice fly balls and another due to a fielder’s choice groundout.
Senior first baseman Mariah Montgomery connected on two sharp line drives to the outfield and senior left fielder Maggie Hull drilled two-run double to the wall in right to ensure not all runs were manufactured. The duo also strengthened their race to the Kansas RBI crown (Liz Kocon, 135). At the conclusion of the weekend, Hull stands in second place with 124, while Montgomery is third with 119. Hull led the offense on Sunday, going 3-for-4, which saw her pass former Jayhawk Jill Larson for seventh on KU’s career hits list (190).
Montgomery, redshirt junior centerfielder Alex Jones and freshman catcher Alex Hugo each tagged a pair of hits to pace the Jayhawk bats. Sophomore designated player Maddie Stein belted two long fly balls to the outfield to collect a pair of RBIs from sac flies.
“Offensively, we had a great weekend,” Smith said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with our offense. We could still get more clutch hits here and there, but overall, we’re getting a lot of people on base and seeing some really good things from our hitters right now.”
With the 7-1 lead in tow, Pille took care of the Seawolves’ last rally attempt in the top of the sixth. Two singles helped Stony Brook load the bases with one out in the frame, but Pille struck out the next two to silence the threat. She worked through a 1-2-3 seventh, including her 12th strikeout to end the game.
Kansas will travel to Boca Raton, Fla., for the Florida Atlantic Tournament, March 8-10. The Jayhawks will square off against Eastern Michigan, Michigan State, Ball State, Louisiana-Monroe and host Florida Atlantic.
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