Kansas Keeps Rolling Through Fall, Tops Baker 9-0

Oct. 4, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior Maggie Hull connected on her second grand slam in as many games to lead the Kansas softball team past Baker in a 9-0 run-rule victory, Wednesday at Arrocha Ballpark.

Hull was one of four Jayhawks to go yard against the Wildcats, powering Kansas to a 6-0 record in the fall exhibition season. Fellow senior Mariah Montgomery drilled a solo shot in the third, while freshmen duo Chaley Brickey and Alex Hugo homered during KU’s seven-run fourth inning.

“There were big hits,” head coach Megan Smith said. “Tonight wasn’t our best performance offensively. I know it looks like it score-wise and having that many homeruns, but it took us a little bit too long to make adjustments. But credit them for coming through and getting those big hits. I think our slappers did an outstanding job to set the table and to make things happen. They’ve been doing that all fall, so the slappers have been doing a great job.”

Along with Montgomery, redshirt junior outfielder Alex Jones and junior second baseman Ashley Newman also posted multi-hit performances to lead KU’s offense.

In the circle, freshman Kelsey Kessler earned the win after tossing four scoreless innings in which she gave up three hits, two walks and struck out six. Sophomore Alicia Pille struck out the side in the fifth to close out the game.

“I don’t think she was her sharpest tonight, but obviously the outcome was good for her,” Smith said on Kessler’s start. “As a freshman, you go in games and have ups and downs. I thought she handled it well, kept her composure and battled through it.”

Baker’s Erin Greenwood took the loss, but was able to hold KU to just two runs before the Jayhawks ignited for seven runs in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Greenwood allowed eight runs on 10 hits and four walks, while striking out six.

After getting out to a slow start at the plate, Kansas led off the bottom of the fourth with three-straight singles to load the bases for Hull. The senior captain cleared them with one swing as her grand slam broke the game open in KU’s favor, 5-0. With one away, Montgomery drew a walk before Brickey knocked her in with a two-run blast and Hugo further sealed the decision with her two-out homer just two batters later.

The Jayhawks now return to practice to continue their list of objectives for the fall season before closing out the exhibition slate against Avila on Oct. 15.

“We’re going to get some rest with fall break, which we need,” Smith said. “We’ve got some banged-up players, so we need to get them some rest. Then we are going to come back and work on more base running; we need to get our pitchers in more live situations in practice so they are prepared when they get into the games; and just kind of fine-tuning everything. I think the big concepts we’ve gone over and we’ve seen them play out in games and just need to fine-tune things.”