Softball Victorious on Senior Day

May 9, 2004

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior left fielder Sylvia Pfeiffer hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead the University of Kansas softball team to a 3-1 victory over Iowa State on Senior Day Sunday afternoon at Arrocha Ballpark. With the win, the Jayhawks finish regular season competition 31-26-1 overall and 7-11 in Big 12 Conference games.

KU finishes seventh in Big 12 regular season standings while the Cyclones (13-30, 3-13 Big 12) are the No. 9 seed heading into next week’s tournament.

Senior Day began with a special recognition of the six graduates and their families. Underclassmen spoke about each of the seniors and their moms were on hand to simultaneously throw out six first pitches for Mother’s Day.

When play began, Iowa State threatened with a run in the first. With one out, Cary Akins singled down the left line before Kara Pierce struck out the next batter and then walked Misty Kimura. Jessica Quade singled to center field to score Akins from second base but Pierce was able to strike out the next Cyclone to hold the ISU lead to one.

Kansas was able to tie the game in the bottom of the third. Senior third baseman Sandy Smith singled down the left line to lead off and was replaced by pinch runner Ashley Goodrich. Pfeiffer doubled to left field in the next at-bat and Goodrich advanced to third, putting two runners in scoring position for Heather Stanley. Stanley nailed a sacrifice fly to right to score Goodrich and move Pfeiffer over to third. KU left two on base in the third but came away with the tying run.

Pfeiffer’s winning homer came in the bottom of the sixth. Senior first baseman Leah Mountain singled down the left line to lead off the inning and Kathy McVey came in as the pinch runner. Jessica Moppin moved McVey to second on a sacrifice bunt and with one out, Pfeiffer homered to left center (fourth of the season) to give KU the 3-2 lead.

Pierce (17-11) struck out two in the top of the seventh as the ‘Hawks closed out their final regular-season victory. The senior righthander struck out seven on the day, allowed three hits and walked two for the complete-game win.

ISU’s Alyssa Ransom started the contest and allowed six hits in 4.0 innings. Kristen Karanzias (2-5) struck out three and allowed three hits (including Pfeiffer’s homer) in 2.0 innings to take the loss.

The Kansas offense recorded nine hits — two from Stanley, Smith and Pfeiffer — but left seven on base. Iowa State stranded five and committed two errors on the day.

“All of our seniors played a great game today and we are very happy to see a senior win the game for us,” head coach Tracy Bunge said. “There is a lot of pressure on our team going into the Big 12 Tournament and we know we will have to play well against Texas Tech.”

KU will receive a No. 7 seeding in the league tournament and will face No. 10 Texas Tech at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.