Pair of Big Innings Doom Kansas, No. 12 Missouri Takes Finale, 9-0
March 18, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Six runs in the third and three in the sixth marked the only innings the Kansas softball team would allow No. 12 Missouri to score, but it was enough for the Tigers to claim the three-game sweep with a 9-0 series finale victory on Sunday afternoon at University Field.
In the last meeting between the two rivals as members of the same conference, Kansas (20-5, 0-3) recorded the first hit of the game before No. 12 Missouri (20-3, 3-0) caught fire in the bottom of the third to amass all the offense the Tigers would need.
The Jayhawk outfield paced both the offense and defense in the finale with sophomore centerfielder Elsa Moyer and junior left fielder Maggie Hull collecting KU’s two hits. The duo also tracked down six fly balls, while Moyer started a double play from center in the sixth.
Junior Morgan Druhan (6-2) took the loss in the circle. After starting the game with two scoreless innings, the junior was pinned with five runs in the third. Druhan allowed just two hits but was hindered by five walks in her 2.1 innings of work.
Sophomore Kristin Martinez and freshman Alicia Pille also saw time in game three. Pille, who broke her 30.2-inning streak without allowing an earned run in the first game of the day, eventually gave up the two-run homer that cemented the run rule.
Senior Kristin Nottelmann (6-2) threw a complete game shutout for the Tigers, allowing two hits, no walks and striking out seven. At the plate, MU was led by right fielder Ashley Fleming’s 2-for-3, three RBI effort. Designated hitter Kelsi Jones hit her second three-run home run of the series, while third baseman Corrin Genovese hit the two-run homer that ended the game after six.
For the first time in the series, the Jayhawks kept the Tigers off the board in the opening frame and Druhan would continue to do so until the third inning. In the bottom of the second, the starting pitcher helped herself with a diving catch in front of the circle, negating a pair of walks that led off the frame.
Walks continued to plague Druhan and the Jayhawks when the Tigers cut loose for their six-run third inning. Two singles and three walks prompted Druhan’s exit with the bases loaded and Kansas trailing 2-0.
For the third time in three games, Martinez was called upon in relief. A sacrifice fly gave her team two outs in the inning, but Jones’ home run opened the Missouri advantage to 6-0. Three more runs in the sixth sealed the 9-0 run rule.
Kansas will continue its spring break across Missouri when the Jayhawks travel to Springfield for their first midweek games of the season. KU will take on Missouri State on Tuesday, March 20, with start times set for 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.