Kessler Named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week
April 9, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A save, a complete game shutout and a no-hitter comprised Kansas freshman Kelsey Kessler’s stellar weekend, which was capped Tuesday afternoon as she was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week by the conference office. Kessler becomes the ninth Jayhawk in Big 12 history to earn the weekly Big 12 pitching honor and the first since Kassie Humphreys earned the award back-to-back weeks on April 4 and April 11, 2006. She helped the Jayhawks to a sweep at Texas Tech, marking the first road sweep in league play since taking both games against the Red Raiders in Lubbock during the 2007 season. The right-hander looked like anything but a rookie pitcher in her first Big 12 road series last weekend at Texas Tech. In three appearances, Kessler recorded her first career save in game one, posted a complete game shutout in game two and became the first Jayhawk to throw a no-hitter since 2007 in the series finale. In the series opener, Kessler was called in after Tech rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth. She came in and got two quick outs to end the sixth and shook off a leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh to clinch the save. Game two saw Kessler strand eight Red Raiders – including runners on third base in both the first and fourth innings – en route to her third complete shutout of the year. She scattered four hits over seven innings, struck out four and retired 10-straight batters to end the game. Her most impressive performance came at the end of the weekend. Kessler started the game three sitting the Red Raider lineup in order through the first three innings, totaling 19-consecutive outs dating back to the second game of the series. A walk and a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the fourth ended up being all that separated Kessler from a perfect game as she went on to sit the next 11 in a row to give KU its first no-hitter in six years. (Last was Humphreys vs. New Mexico, 5/20/07). For the weekend, Kessler made two starts and three appearances and went 2-0 with a save and threw 15.2 innings of shutout softball. She struck out 13 and gave up just five hits for a .096 opposing batting average. For the season, Kessler moved to 7-3 and lowered her ERA to 1.98 overall and a team-leading 1.54 in Big 12 play. KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.