Kansas Comes Up Short Against Fresno State, 3-2
March 15, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Three hits from junior second baseman Ashley Newman and a clutch double from freshman catcher Alex Hugo helped Kansas come back and tie the game against Fresno State, but the Bulldogs got the last word to defeat KU, 3-2, in the Capital Classic opener at Shea Stadium, Friday morning.
Facing the second-winningest program in Division I softball, Kansas (19-6) took an early lead in its first at bat against Fresno State (16-11). FSU came back and to take the 2-1 lead before Kansas knotted the score at 2-2 in the top of the sixth. A two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, however, swung the game in favor of the Bulldogs for good.
Newman collected her fourth three-hit game of the season to lead the offense, while senior left fielder Maggie Hull extended her hit streak to 11 games with a 1-for-4 effort. Senior first baseman Mariah Montgomery tied the Jayhawk career RBI race when she knocked in her 126th career RBI in the top of the first. Sophomore third baseman Chanin Naudin posted the other RBI during a 1-for-2 performance, but the combined efforts couldn’t stop Fresno State from snapping KU’s six-game win streak.
Sophomore Alicia Pille made the start, but after leaving the game with a 2-2 score after five complete innings, she left with a no decision. The sophomore right-hander gave up two runs, and the first of two hits she allowed was a solo home run. Freshman Kelsey Kessler (5-3) came in to start the bottom of the sixth. Down to the final strike of the inning, FSU’s Kapri Angotti broke the 2-2 tie with her full count RBI single to hand Kessler the loss.
Freshman Jill Compton (7-8) earned the win, tossing a complete game and allowing two runs on seven hits. Aside from Angotti’s game winner in the bottom of the sixth, junior first baseman Stesha Brazil led the Bulldog offense, going 1-for-2 with a home run.
To start the game, the Jayhawks wasted no time getting on the board. Redshirt junior Alex Jones drew a walk to kick off the contest and Maggie Hull beat out an infield single. A sac bunt put them in scoring position for Montgomery, who came through with the RBI single to center as Kansas came away with the 1-0 lead out of the first inning.
Compton settled in after KU took the early lead and went on to strand three Jayhawk runners in the second inning before working a 1-2-3 Kansas third.
On the other side, Pille kept Fresno State off the board through the first two innings and had collected two outs in the bottom of the third before Brazil connected on her solo homer to left field, tying the game at 1-1.
The game stayed locked at one run apeice until a one-out triple from FSU designated player Diane Runge’s provided a spark in the bottom of the fifth. A sacrifice fly brought her home and gave the Bulldogs the 2-1 edge.
The Jayhawks responded in their next at bat thanks to Hugo’s leadoff double down the left field line. Senior right fielder Rosie Hull executed a sac bunt, and Naudin drove a long fly ball to left for a sacrifice fly of their own, and again the game was tied.
With Kessler in to throw the bottom of the sixth, a leadoff walk would prove costly. Although she came back with two quick outs, Angotti drove Kessler’s full count offering to right field, allowing the winning run to score.
Newman led off the top of the seventh with her third single of the morning, but was left there as Kansas fell 3-2.
Kansas will get a game break before getting back on the field to face Saint Mary’s College at approximately 4 p.m. CT.
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