Kansas Has More Late-Game Drama to Earn Split With Nebraska
April 8, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas softball split with Big 12 rival Nebraska, 0-4 and 2-1, in a Wednesday evening doubleheader at Arrocha Ballpark. With the split Kansas improves to 13-22 overall and 3-5 in the conference, while Nebraska falls to 26-11 overall and 3-5 in Big 12 play.
Game One – Nebraska 4 Kansas 0
Scoreless through two innings, Nebraska got on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning when Amanda Duran’s bunt single scored Meghan Mullin from third base to give the Huskers a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, the Huskers used three two-out hits to score two more runs. Whitney Barrett got the two-out rally started when she beat out the throw at first for an infield single. Barrett scored from first when the next batter, Haley Long, hit the ball to right center for her first double of the season. Long scored on a Mullin single to right field.
Nebraska scored one more run in the seventh when Kelli Linke hit a single through the left side of the infield to score Nikki Haget, who was pinch running for Duran.
Leading the Jayhawks in the first game was Val Chapple who tallied one of KU’s hits and was apart of five straight outs in the middle innings from her third base position.
Junior Sarah Vertelka (5-6) pitched a complete game for the Jayhawks, allowing four runs on eight hits, while striking out four and walking two batters. Kansas managed only two hits against Nebraska’s ace, Molly Hill (16-6), who threw the shutout for the Huskers. Hill did walk three batters while striking out five.
Game Two – Kansas 2 Nebraska 1
One week ago Kansas needed a walk-off homer to defeat No. 11 Missouri, and the Jayhawks would need similar late game heroics again on Wednesday night.
Just like the first game of the doubleheader, Nebraska broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning behind a Linke double to deep center that scored Long to give the Huskers a 1-0 advantage.
Kansas tried to respond in the bottom of the third inning, but were unable to score Sara Ramirez and Chapple, both of whom were left on base after reaching by a walk and a hit down the left field line, respectively.
KU threatened again in the sixth inning when Elle Pottorf had a leadoff single up-the-middle and Stevie Crisosto reached base on balls, but Hill was able to get out of the inning by retiring Brittany Hile and a pinch-hitting Allie Clark.
The game changed in the seventh inning when junior Sara Ramirez reached base on a single into centerfield to leadoff the seventh inning. Hill was pulled following Ramirez’s hit in favor of Ashley Hagemann. After Dougie McCaulley was called out for batter interference, Chapple roped a single into left field to move Ramirez to second base. Hill returned to the circle in the seventh inning to replace Hagemann after Chapple’s base hit. Kocon was walked by Hill to load the bases with just one out. Pottorf then delivered the games biggest hit with a single to centerfield that scored Ramirez and Chapple.
KU had a base runner in every inning except the first. It was also the second time in as many game two’s of a doubleheader at Arrocha Ballpark that KU scored on a walk-off hit.
Senior Valerie George (8-11) was in the circle for Kansas in the second game. She pitched a complete game, striking out four, walking one, and allowing just one run on five hits. It was her 12th complete game of the season.
Nebraska continued to ride their ace, Hill, into the second game as she pitched six innings. In the second game, she allowed just four hits, struck out four and walked six. Hagemann (6-4) was brought into the game in the seventh inning and faced two batters. She forced one out and gave up a base hit, and received the loss.
Ku will welcome No. 12/10 Oklahoma on Friday for a 7 p.m. game and will wrap up the series in a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark. Saturday is the Jayhawks For a Cure game. Admission is $3 for fans wearning pink and KU will be accepting donations at the entrance to benefit Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Center.