Kessler, KU Fall 1-0 Despite One-hitter
ORLANDO, Fla. – Sophomore Kelsey Kessler and the Kansas softball team fell on the short end of a pitchers’ duel, as the Jayhawks dropped a 1-0 decision in their season opener to host UCF in the first day of the UCF Knights Invitational at the UCF Softball Complex Friday.
Kessler faced 20 batters over six innings, allowing just one hit that led to an unearned run. She also struck out seven and walked a pair.
In a scoreless tie with one out in the bottom of the third inning, Kessler surrendered a triple in right center to UCF’s ninth hitter, Maddy Schroeder. It looked like Kessler and the Jayhawks would get out of the frame unscathed, but Ashley Newman fielded a sharply hit grounder at second however her throw pulled Maddie Stein off the bag and plated the unearned run.
The Jayhawks left a pair of runners on base in both the second and sixth inning, while leaving one in three more innings to total seven stranded.
Senior Alex Jones stroked a looping single over third base in the third inning for KU’s first base hit of the 2014 season. In the sixth inning, Stein put one in about the same spot this time for a double and KU had runners on second and third with only one out. Harli Ridling battled through an 11-pitch at bat, but eventually struck out and Chaley Brickey grounded out to the pitcher to end the frame.
UCF’s Mackenzie Audas struck out 10 Jayhawks to earn her first victory of the season.
This was the first of two games for the Jayhawks Friday, as KU ended the first day of the UCF Knights Invitational against South Dakota.
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