Kansas Ties Program-Best Win Streak, Downs Delaware State, 17-1
March 9, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five Jayhawk home runs paced the offensive onslaught as the Kansas softball team sailed past Delaware State, 17-1 in five innings, to tie the longest win streak in school history to end day one at the UNF Softball Complex.
With the victory, Kansas (17-2) tied the 1992 Jayhawks as the only team in school history to post 17-straight wins. That wasn’t the only history KU approached in Friday’s nightcap, as the Jayhawks cranked out five home runs as a team, while chalking up their largest margin of victory since the 2006 season.
The 16-run differential marked KU’s largest victory since taking down UMKC, 19-0, in five innings on March 28, 2006. The five total homers ranks as the second most all-time by a Kansas team with the record being set a season ago when KU hit six bombs against Bethune-Cookman (2/19/11). It also marks the third time in two seasons KU has hit five or more homers in a game. Through the first 19 games of the 2012 season, KU has gone yard 17 times.
“We certainly don’t center our approach around home runs being the only result,” head coach Megan Smith said. “We just train our hitters on taking good swings and being smart at the plate. Today was an impressive performance from all of our hitters.”
Three of the Jayhawks’ five homers came in a monster fourth inning. Armed with a 7-1 lead heading into the top half of the fourth, KU racked up 10 runs on seven hits – only four of which were not home runs – by sending 16 batters to the plate.
Junior shortstop Mariah Montgomery led the charge, cranking out two homers in the big inning. Fittingly, Montgomery was the last Jayhawk to hit two long balls in a game as she and redshirt senior Liz Kocon each went yard twice last season against Wichita State (4/27/11). Montgomery finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBIs.
Fellow junior captain, left fielder Maggie Hull, also had a big day, going 3-for-4 with a three-run shot to highlight her four RBI performance. Her four runs scored marked a new career high.
Seniors Marissa Ingle and Kocon each drilled homers with Ingle’s being the 16th of her career, and Kocon’s marked No. 31 – tying her for second all-time in career home runs with former Jayhawk great Destiny Frankenstein.
Freshman starter Alicia Pille (8-2) earned her eighth-straight win, but snapped her scoreless streak at 17.2 innings as an unearned run was charged to her in the bottom of the second. The rookie, however, has not allowed an earned run in 21.0 innings. Meanwhile, senior Ashley Spencer made her second appearance of the day, sitting the Hornets in order in their final at bat to close out the game.
“Ashley Spencer did an outstanding job of coming in and having control of her pitches today,” Smith said. “Without having a lot of innings underneath her this year, she came in and threw well for us.”
For the second time on Friday, sophomore second baseman Ashley Newman and Maggie Hull led off the game with base hits and came around to score to put the Jayhawks up early, 2-0.
In the following inning, Maggie Hull struck again, getting all of the Samantha Gross’ (0-2) delivery for the three-run homer to right center and Kansas quickly shot ahead, 5-0.
The homers kept coming as Ingle followed a two-out single by freshman catcher Lexi Bryant with her third home run of the season. With the 7-1 lead and the win already firmly in hand, the Jayhawks put up the explosive fourth inning, led by Montgomery and Kocon’s home run parade, to lock up the 17-1 win.
Friday, March 9
vs. Delaware State, W, 5-2
vs. Delaware State, W, 17-1 (5)
Saturday, March 10
vs. North Florida, 1:30 p.m. CT
vs. Delaware State, 4 p.m. CT
Sunday, March 11
vs. North Florida, 9 a.m. CT