Kansas Outlasts Ospreys to Claim Fourth-Consecutive Tournament, 7-3
March 11, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –Owners of a 20-game win streak, the Kansas softball team halted a pair of rallies from North Florida to defeat the host team, 7-3, and win the Osprey Classic Sunday morning at the UNF Softball Complex.
Kansas (20-2) now heads into Big 12 Conference play next weekend riding four-straight tournament titles and a program-best 20-game winning spree. As a team, the Jayhawks are hitting at an impressive .325 clip with 18 home runs as they prepare to open league play at Missouri, March 16-18.
Junior left fielder Maggie Hull played lights out in Jacksonville and Sunday morning was no different. Hull led the Jayhawks with a three-run homer in the top of the second to cap a highlight-reel weekend for the junior captain. She went 10-for-17 with two homers and nine RBIs in the five-game span.
Hitting right in front of her in the lineup, leadoff hitter and second baseman Ashley Newman continued her tear, posting a 2-for-4 effort for her 10th multi-hit game of the year. The sophomore extended her hit streak to 11 on Sunday and now has at least one hit in 20 of KU’s 22 games.
In the circle, sophomore Kristin Martinez (5-0) threw her third complete game of 2012, striking out seven and walking one in the win. Of the three runs surrendered, one was earned as she scattered seven hits over seven innings to dip her season ERA under 2.00 to end the weekend.
North Florida (10-11) was paced by catcher Jackie Reese’s 3-for-4 effort, while Kayla Goff (2-4) took the loss in the circle.
Newman put the Jayhawks on the board first, scoring in KU’s opening at bat for the fourth time in five games during the tournament. She led off the game with a hit and scored on a fielder’s choice RBI from junior shortstop Mariah Montgomery. As they had in their meeting the day before, the Jayhawks took a 1-0 first inning lead.
In the other dugout, the Ospreys came out looking to even the weekend series. Reese led off UNF’s first at bat with a bunt single and stole second to put her in scoring position with nobody out. While Martinez worked back-to-back outs, designated player Mariah Reynolds drove a single into left field. With Reese coming around third to score, Maggie Hull fielded the base hit cleanly and threw Reese out at the plate.
The junior captain rolled that momentum into her next trip to the plate. After battling through a long at bat, Hull went opposite field for her fourth home run of the season and Kansas surged ahead, 4-0.
Redshirt senior Liz Kocon and junior Rosie Hull teamed up for back-to-back singles to start the third, chasing Goff from the game. Stepping in to relieve her, Ashley Brown came in for three quick outs to end the Kansas threat.
With run support on her side, Martinez worked efficiently through the Ospreys order. Although she allowed a pair of hits in the first inning and one in each the second and third, Martinez calmly made her way through each unscathed.
Using RBIs from team leaders Montgomery and Kocon, who racked up their 27th and 24th, respectively, the Jayhawks tacked on three more runs in the top of the sixth. The 7-0 lead proved helpful in the Ospreys’ sixth, when the home team rallied for a pair of unearned runs to cut into the Kansas lead, 7-2. UNF was on the verge of extending its rally before a diving catch from sophomore centerfielder Elsa Moyer ended the inning.
Two quick strikeouts to start the bottom of the seventh dwindled the Ospreys’ comeback opportunities to a single out, but the tough home team rallied on two. Reese picked up her third hit of the game and was followed by a walk and an RBI single by third baseman Alyson Bailey, narrowing KU’s lead to four. Martinez didn’t waiver in the circle and fanned Reynolds for the final out of the game.
Friday, March 9
vs. Delaware State, W, 5-2
vs. Delaware State, W, 17-1 (5)
Saturday, March 10
vs. North Florida, W, 1-0
vs. Delaware State, W, 6-1
Sunday, March 11
vs. North Florida, W, 7-3