McGinley Gives Kansas Lead, Pille Locks it Down in 4-2 Win
BOCA RATON, Florida – Kansas waited, waited and waited some more, until finally breaking through with four runs over the final four innings while moving to 2-0 on the season with a 4-2 victory over Georgia Tech in the Florida Atlantic Tournament at FAU Stadium Friday afternoon.
Yellow Jacket (0-1) pitcher Emily Anderson retired the first 10 batters she faced and helped her team fend off a pair of Kansas (2-0) advances, before Shannon McGinley delivered a full count, two-out RBI single to put KU ahead for good in the top of the sixth. McGinley hit a ball through the right side of the infield and pushed across Amanda Organ, the first of two runs Kansas would plate in the frame. It was the second hit of the game for McGinley, who led all batters and also scored two runs.
“All it takes is one hit to get that momentum going and once it’s going, we’re such an energetic team,” McGinley said of the breakthrough after watching the Yellow Jackets starter cruise through three perfect innings. “The situation was there and I was glad to be able to be put in it and do that for my team. We practice that situation over and over again so I knew I needed to get it on the ground somewhere hard to have the best chance to score the runner and luckily today, I got that done.”
Tech’s Anderson was good early and benefitted from extra base hits from Maddie Lionberger (triple), Samantha Pierannunzi (double) and Karly Fullem (home run) while building a 1-0 lead after the first inning and a 2-1 lead after four.
Anderson fanned five batters in the first three innings and looked nearly untouchable until KU senior Maddie Stein’s sacrifice fly scored Lily Behrman in the fourth to tie the game at one. Even then, it was run manufactured without a hit as Kansas took advantage of a walk, fielder’s choice, throwing error and the fly ball from Stein to plate just one.
Although tagged for a pair of runs and working from behind from the outset, Kansas starter Alicia Pille was equally impressive in the later frames. After giving up a big fly and the lead to Fullem in the fourth, Pilled allowed just one runner to reach in three scoreless frames to close to the contest.
Shannon McGinley had two hits, scored two runs and drove in the go-ahead in Friday’s win.
“We were facing a good team in Georgia Tech and their two best hitters got us in the first inning,” Kansas head coach Megan Smith said. “Pille was throwing good pitches, they’re just good hitters. They scored on us, which is going to happen sometimes, but what I loved about it was that she fought the whole game. She gave up a home run later in the game but continued to fight and shut them down and that was really impressive today.”
In the top of the fifth, McGinley showed the first hint of success against Anderson, doubling to the warning track in centerfield to put runners on the corners with no outs for Kansas. Still, Anderson almost wiggled out with a fly out and fielder’s choice, but walked Lily Berhman – her third of the day – with two outs and the bases loaded to even the score at 2-2.
Kansas opened relative flood gates with its pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Stein led off with a double to left center and after a pair of fly outs, McGinley delivered her base knock to score KU’s pinch runner and give the Jayhawks their first lead. Freshman catcher Jessie Roane followed with a double to left center to plate another run and give Pille all she needed to close out the win.
The Jayhawks continue tournament play Saturday with another pair of games against Arkansas at 12:30 p.m. (CT) and host-school Florida Atlantic at 5 p.m. (CT) inside FAU Stadium.
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