KU Softball Nearly Upsets No. 9/9 Oklahoma State

April 18, 2010

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Sophomore Marissa Ingle hit a solo home run and senior Amanda Jobe helped score two more runs, but Kansas’ rally fell short as No. 9/9 Oklahoma State edged the Jayhawks 4-3 in Sunday afternoon’s softball action.

With the loss, KU is now 18-26 on the season and 1-10 in Big 12 Conference play. The Jayhawks are also 10-6 in games decided by one run.

Oklahoma State recorded its 16th-straight win as it improved to 39-7 overall and a perfect 9-0 in the league.

Trailing 3-0 after four innings, Ingle launched a solo home run off OSU freshman pitcher Kat Espinosa over the left center wall in the bottom of the fifth inning to put the Jayhawks on the scoreboard. It was the first earned run surrendered by Espinosa in 46 innings.

The Cowgirls added another run in the top of the sixth inning off a pair of singles. The run later proved to be the difference-maker.

In the bottom of the sixth, Espinosa gave up a single to freshman Rosie Hull and hit junior Brittany Hile with a pitch to put two runners on base with two outs. Jobe stepped up to the plate next and hit a high fly ball to deep center field. The ball was dropped by OSU’s center fielder and allowed Hull and Hile to both score, unearned, and bring KU within two at 4-2.

Espinosa was replaced by senior Anna Whiddon, who threw the Cowgirls’ 11-3 victory the day before. Junior Allie Clark grabbed a single through the left side to keep the offense going but OSU’s first baseman made a nice play at first snagging a hard line drive hit by Ingle to strand the game-tying run on base. Kansas was unable to keep its momentum going in the seventh inning as Oklahoma State retired KU’s first three batters.

Clark pitched all seven innings from the circle and suffered the loss despite her strong outing. Clark allowed eight hits and only two earned runs as she dropped to 7-6.

“Yesterday we came out and we fought, the outcome wasn’t great,” said head coach Megan Smith. “Today we fought and we were in it the whole game. The fight never gets old, so when we fight, we’re going to win some games because of it. I want them to keep it up.”

“I think the way we played today felt like a little bit of a victory after yesterday,” Smith said. “For us to fight back and make it a game until the very last out, that was worth it. Marissa [Ingle] just stepped up and killed the ball and it was exciting for her to do that because we all knew how good their pitcher was.”

Kansas will have four days off before heading to Nebraska on April 22 for a single conference game scheduled for 5 p.m.