Kansas Falls to No. 22/25 Baylor in Series Opening Pitching Duel, 3-0
April 6, 2012
WACO, Texas – Freshman pitcher Alicia Pille kept the nationally-ranked Baylor Bears off the board until a three-run bottom of the sixth powered the Bears to a 3-0 win in the first game of a doubleheader to open the series, Friday afternoon at Getterman Stadium.
Kansas (23-11, 2-8) received five scoreless innings from Pille (11-6), who struck out six and walked just one, but the final two of six hits she surrendered in the weekend opener proved to be all the Bears would need. A solo home run, a wild pitch and an RBI single turned a scoreless game into the 3-0 Baylor win in a single frame.
Representing No. 22/25 Baylor (25-12, 2-6), in the other half of the pitching duel, was Courtney Repka (12-6). The junior recorded a season-high eight strikeouts and one walk. Like Pille, she too only allowed six hits, but managed to scatter them over seven innings to stay unscathed.
Junior left fielder Maggie Hull and freshman first baseman Maddie Stein led the offense with 2-for-3 performances, while freshman third baseman Chanin Naudinchipped in her fifth double of the season to lead the Jayhawk offense.
The Bears were led by left fielder Shelbi Redfearn’s solo home run and an RBI single from shortstop Jordan Strickland. No Bears collected multiple hits in game one.
The Bears led off the bottom of the second with a single to right field before the Jayhawk defense collected two outs. A bunt single by second baseman Jill Reid found Pille in trouble with runners on second and third. The rookie buckled down and sat Strickland down on strikes to keep the Bears off the board.
In the following inning, Pille benefitted from a strong defense behind her with a pair of big stops. Junior shortstop Mariah Montgomery displayed her range with a backhanded grab to stop a would-be single through the left side and sophomore centerfielder Elsa Moyershowed off her speed when she ran down a sharp fly ball to the left center gap.
With the combination of solid defense and effective pitching already on their side, the Jayhawks worked patiently to make adjustments against Repka. Stein, who made her first appearance at the three-spot in the lineup on Friday, led off the Kansas fourth with a line drive base knock to centerfield. A fielder’s choice groundout and Repka’s sixth strikeout, however, sent the game to the bottom half of the inning still scoreless.
After Pille struck out back-to-back hitters to strand two more Baylor base runners in the bottom of the fourth, her lineup went down quickly in its next at bat as the pitching duel continued.
Repka appeared as if she would be the one to break first as Kansas strung together three-straight hits to lead off the sixth inning. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Newman and Maggie Hullswung through for back-to-back singles to open the frame. Stein joined them by taking advantage of a bunt single, loading the bases with nobody out. Yet, the Baylor pitcher hung in, breaking her previous season-high (6) with her seventh strikeout to end the Jayhawks’ rally attempt.
While the Jayhawks put up three-consecutive hits and came out empty handed in their half of the sixth, it took just one from Baylor in the bottom half of the inning to break up the scoring drought.
Down in the count, Redfearn sent a solo home run over the left field wall to end Pille’s shutout and hand the home team a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch and a two-out RBI single resulted in a 3-0 Bear lead with three outs remaining.
Although Naudin drilled a double to left field in an effort to start an seventh-inning rally, the Jayhawks weren’t able to plate her. The Bears hung on for the 3-0 victory.