Kansas and No. 24 Texas Tech Postpone Series Opener in Fifth Inning

April 27, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following two runs in the top of the fifth, a storm cell enveloped Arrocha Ballpark, forcing the remainder of the game to be postponed until Saturday at noon with No. 24 Texas Tech leading Kansas softball, 3-1 in the top of the fifth.

Kansas (30-16, 5-13) took a 1-0 lead in its first at bat using an RBI single from junior shortstop Mariah Montgomery, her team-best 43rd RBI of the year. She drove in junior left fielder Maggie Hull, who now needs three more runs to become the Jayhawks’ new single season leader in runs scored (46, Rosie Rader, 1980).

Minutes before the delay, No. 24 Texas Tech (37-13, 10-8) took the lead using a two-run fifth. The Red Raiders tied the game with a solo shot in the previous inning.

When play resumes, Texas Tech will be in the top of its fifth inning, with the bases loaded and one out.

Freshman starter Alicia Pille (17-9) was replaced in the fifth following an incident in which a batted ball struck her hand. For Texas Tech, freshman Cara Custer (23-8) was still in the game, allowing one run on one hit with six strikeouts.

In its trip to the plate, Texas Tech threatened with runners on second and third with the team’s batting leader, junior Adriana Perez, stepping to the plate. Pille struck her out swinging for the crucial second out. She worked around a walk that loaded the bases with a pop up, leaving the bases loaded.

Like the visitors, the Jayhawks also benefitted from two, first-inning walks, but found a way to scratch one across. A wild pitch moved Maggie Hull into scoring position at second base for Montgomery. KU’s RBI leader stepped up, pushing a sharp grounder through the right side for her 43rd RBI of the season

Meanwhile, Pille kept the potent Texas Tech lineup quiet through the first three innings. Although she faced a bases loaded situation in the top of the first and put two more in the second, she worked herself out of both jams and had stranded six heading into the top of the fourth.

The Red Raider lineup entered the weekend second in the league in home runs, amassing 60 bombs prior to its trip to Lawrence. With the wind wrecking havoc in various directions all game, a long ball seemed inevitable. Facing catcher Holly Gentsch with one away in the top of the fourth, Pille surrendered a homer to left to knot the game, 1-1.

For the fourth time in five innings, a Red Raider reached base to lead off the frame. While Pille had been able to work around it throughout the game, Tech made it count in the top of the fifth. Centerfielder Mikey Kenney kicked off the inning with a walk and Perez came right behind her with a single.

The next single, albeit an infield one, made the biggest impact. First baseman Sandy James rocketed a line drive back at Pille, slamming against her hand. The infield hit scored the go-ahead run, but also ended Pille’s outing. She was forced to come out for reliever Morgan Druhan, who surrendered back-to-back walks to score another run and extend Tech’s lead, 3-1.

Following the bases loaded walk, the tarp was pulled for a 62-minute delay until being officially called around 8 p.m. This marks the Jayhawks’ second delayed Big 12 home game this season. KU and Texas was delayed for 61 minutes on April 13.

Play will resume on Saturday with the bases loaded for Texas Tech and one out.

Kansas and No. 24 Texas Tech will finish game one, beginning in the top of the fifth inning at noon. The teams will then square off in the second game of the three-game series Saturday at 2 p.m. Following the game, all five Jayhawk seniors will be honored on the field.