Kansas Sweeps Bradley In Doubleheader
Kansas softball wrapped up a nine-game homestand in fine fashion picking up back-to-back wins over Bradley Tuesday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark as the Jayhawks, who won 2-0 and then 3-2, improve to 23-6 overall heading into conference play. Bradley drops to 8-6 with the losses.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Junior Valerie George recorded her fourth shutout of the year, leading the <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas softball team over Bradley in the first game of the doubleheader as she improved to 11-1 from the circle.
George retired the last 19 Braves batters that came to the plate against her. Her Big 12-leading ERA dropped to 0.69 after the shutout. George also added eight strikeouts on the day.
The first four and a half innings were played to a scoreless tie, until sophomore Sara Ramirez belted her second home run of the year. Ramirez’s home run also scored freshman Kolby Fesmire, who was pinch-running for freshman Liz Kocon.
With the teams tied at 1-1 heading into the fifth inning, Kansas strung together three of its seven hits in the game to score two runs in the bottom of five and lift the Jayhawks to a 3-1 lead.
Ramirez, who led off the inning with a single, was bumped over to second on a sacrifice bunt from senior Addy Lucero. Fellow senior Betsy Wilson was next in the lineup and hit a single through the left side. Ramirez advanced to third, while Wilson was able to take an extra base when Bradley threw the ball to home plate to prevent Ramirez from scoring. Junior Stevie Crisosto notched the eventual game-winning hit with a single up the middle to score Ramirez and Wilson.
Bradley threatened the Jayhawks’ lead in its final at-bat. The Braves scored a run with back-to-back hits, a double and a single, to come within one at 3-2, but George, who entered for sophomore Sarah Vertelka in the final inning, struck out the final two batters to end the contest.
Sophomore Ally Stanton notched KU’s first RBI in the bottom of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly that brought in junior Val Chapple.
Kansas will open 2008 Big 12 Conference play this weekend when they travel to Norman, Okla., for a two-game series with the Sooners. KU and Oklahoma will square off Friday, March 21 at 7 p.m. and again Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.