Kansas Takes Down Top-25 Baylor in Series Finale, 6-1
April 7, 2012
WACO, Texas – Chanin Naudin’s first career grand slam highlighted the powerful offensive start the Kansas softball team used to upset No. 22/25 Baylor, 6-1, in the last of a three-game set at Getterman Stadium, Saturday morning.
Facing its fourth 2011 Women’s College World Series team in as many weekends, Kansas (24-12, 3-9) collected its first win against the top-25 Bears since April 10, 2010. With the victory, KU posted the most Big 12 victories in the Megan Smith era.
The Jayhawks broke out six runs in the first two innings, including Naudin’s grand slam in the top of the second inning to build an early lead from which No. 22/25 Baylor (26-13, 3-7) would not recover. After the Bears clinched the series victory by the same score on Friday evening, the Jayhawks’ stole the series finale by scoring six runs on 10 hits.
“Today we showed up to play,” Smith said. “Yesterday was a rough day for us. We didn’t play horribly, but didn’t play the way we needed to in order to compete with a team like this. I challenged them last night to come out here today and leave everything on the field, give it everything they have, and they did that. We got great performances from Alicia Pille in the circle and more great work from Maggie Hull and Chanin Naudin at the plate.”
Naudin’s grand slam highlighted a career 2-for-4 day as she drove in five of the Jayhawks’ six runs. Junior shortstop Mariah Montgomery drove in the other RBI and was one of four Jayhawks to post a multi-hit effort on Saturday. Fellow team captain, junior left fielder Maggie Hull, went a flawless 3-for-3 with a double and a walk, while sophomore centerfielder Elsa Moyer went 2-for-3.
In the circle, freshman Alicia Pille(12-6) struck out six and was charged with the Bears’ lone unearned run just five outs shy of the shutout in her 10th complete game of the season.
Junior Courtney Repka (12-7) took the loss in the circle after Kansas knocked her out of the game just two outs into the second inning. Sophomore Liz Paul took over for Repka in the second and went on to throw 5.1 innings of scoreless relief.
The Jayhawks wasted no time getting to Repka as five-straight Jayhawks reached during a two-run top of the first. One batter into the game, Maggie Hull smoked a base hit to left field and was quickly joined by freshman first baseman Maddie Stein when she singled up the middle. A walk drawn by redshirt senior Liz Kocon loaded the bases for Naudin.
The rookie delivered. Naudin, who collected her eighth hit in the last five games on Saturday, drove an RBI single to center for the first run of the game. Montgomery responded to her move to the sixth spot in the order, and followed Naudin with an RBI single of her own. Doubling its run total for the weekend, Kansas took a 2-0 lead out of the opening frame.
Rolling right along, Kansas’ offense picked up speed in a hurry in its next trip to the plate. The Jayhawk slappers stepped up as Moyer led off with a single to third before Newman and Maggie Hull sprinted their way on base to set the table once again for Naudin.
And, again, Naudin came through.
Locked in, the freshman third baseman fouled off pitch after pitch before sitting back on Repka’s full count delivery and crushing it over the wall in left for her first career grand slam. Her second homer of the season marked the first Jayhawk grand slam since Maggie Hull’s at Iowa State on April 23, 2011.
Armed with a 6-0 cushion, Pille worked her way through five scoreless innings, spacing out Baylor’s eight hits, including striking out the side in the bottom second to erase a base hit and a walk.
Kocon helped keep the Bears off the board in the bottom of the fourth. After a leadoff walk, Baylor’s Megan Turk hit a shot toward right center. Kocon laid out for the diving grab and KU moved on still ahead, 6-0.
Trouble arose in the bottom of the sixth when Pille gave up back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on board. Although a strikeout and groundout would close out the inning and leave the bases loaded, a throwing error over first base allowed the only Baylor run to score, breaking up the shutout.
Unfazed, Pille and company shut down the Bears in the seventh for the 6-1 victory.
Kansas will settle in Lawrence for a 13-game homestand. The Jayhawks will kick off their long stay at Arrocha Ballpark on Wednesday, April 11 when they host the Wichita State Shockers. The doubleheader is set for 5/7 p.m., and will be televised by Metro Sports.