Jayhawks Grab 6-5 Win Over Valparaiso in Home Opener
March 11, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. – –
A two-out single from sophomore Kelsey Alsdorf in the bottom of the fifth inning helped plate three runners and proved to be the difference-maker as the Kansas softball team defeated Valparaiso Thursday evening in the Jayhawks’ home opener.
The win, which was the first game of this weekend’s KU Invitational, improved KU to 10-10 overall, while Valpo fell to 13-6 on the season.
With the scored tied 3-3 after four and a half innings, Kansas used smart base running in the bottom of the fifth frame to score three runs off of just one hit. Junior Allie Clark earned a base on balls and eventually made it to second on an error during Brittany Hile’s fielder’s choice to the first baseman. One out later, freshman Mariah Montgomery loaded the bases with a walk of her own.
Alsdorf then stepped up to the plate, loaded the pitch count and proceeded to smack a single into right field allowing Irwin, who was pinch running for Clark, and Hile to score. Before the play was over, Alsdorf was able to distract the defense in her attempt to advance to second base. In the meantime, Montgomery, who was waiting quietly at third, slid safely into home plate to push KU’s lead to 6-3.
Valparaiso was able to come within one run scoring two on four hits in the sixth frame, but the Jayhawks’ defense cut the rally short. On a Crusader double to deep center field, senior Sara Ramirez cut a throw from Maggie Hull and caught Valpo’s runner at third. Senior pitcher Sarah Vertelka pitched in a pair of strikeouts to help get out of the inning.
The Crusaders put two more base runners in scoring position in the seventh inning but Kansas again made key plays to end the threat.
Vertelka threw the final three innings for Clark and allowed two runs on six hits while striking out three batters en route to her fourth win from the circle.
Kansas was out-hit 13-6 during the game. The Jayhawks have now won three times this season despite being out-hit.
Montgomery scored KU’s first two runs in the bottom of the second inning with her first collegiate home run. Before the frame was over, freshman Rosie Hull plated Marissa Ingle with a single to shallow left field.
Kansas continues its KU Invitational Friday (tomorrow) with another contest versus Valparaiso at 2 p.m. It is the only contest on tap for Friday in the new weather altered schedule.
Freshman Mariah Montgomery collected her first collegiate home run… Sophomore Kelsey Alsdorf, who recently earned a starting spot three games ago, has four hits in her last four contests… For the third time this season, Kansas won despite being out-hit… Five of KU’s six hits came from the bottom four hitters of the order.