Kessler, KU Strikes Out Chattanooga in Record Fashion, 1-0

Junior Maddie Stein drove home the game’s only run and finished with two hits to lead KU offensively.
Kansas 1, Chattanooga 0
UCF Softball Complex // Orlando, Fla.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
KU 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0
UTC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0

Box Score (.pdf)

Batting Leaders
M. Stein 3 0 2 1 0 0
T. Hatfield 3 0 1 0 0 0
A. Robles 3 0 1 0 0 0
S. Roberts 3 0 1 0 0 0
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
K. Kessler 7.0 4 0 0 0 15
T. Deason 7.0 6 1 1 1 7

Photo Gallery

ORLANDO, Fla. – For the second-straight outing, Kansas sophomore Kelsey Kessler found herself in the midst of a pitchers’ duel, this time the Jayhawks came out on top, 1-0, over Chattanooga to end the weekend in historical fashion on the final day of the UCF Knights Invitational at the UCF Softball Complex Sunday.
Kessler posted a career-best 15 strikeouts, including eight in the last nine Chattanooga outs, to post the eighth shutout of her career.  The 15 Ks also sets the Kansas standard for strikeouts in a game. She didn’t walk a single batter, while allowing four hits.
“Kelsey was dominant,” head coach Megan Smith said.  “She was dominant Friday too, but we just couldn’t scrape together a run for her. We played as a team (today) and it was good to get out of here with a win.
“(Kelsey) moved the ball really, really well, and her rise ball was looking really good.  She was really poised and confident and you could tell she got more confident as the game went on.”
Through the first three innings, the two teams were deadlock – each without a score and two hits apiece.  That all changed in the top of the fourth, when KU freshman catcher Harli Ridling led off the frame with her third hit by pitch of the season. Shannon McGinley was called on to pinch run for Ridling and was quickly sacrificed over to second by Chaley Brickey.
McGinley didn’t stay there long, as junior Maddie Stein stroked the third pitch in her at bat into centerfield to drive home the first run of the game and give KU a 1-0 lead. It was Stein’s second single of the game in as many at bats.
“That’s what we were missing Friday was clutch hits,” Smith said.  “Maddie stepped up and was clutch.  She made really good adjustments from watching video yesterday.  We count on Maddie, so it was good to see her come through.”
Alex Jones, Ashley Newman, Taylor Hatfield and Brickey each added a base hit, as Kansas posted six in the game.  Kansas improved to 1-2 with the win, while Chattanooga fell to 0-4.
The Jayhawks will be back in action Friday when they face Fordham for the first of five games at the College of Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C. First pitch is slated for 10 a.m. CT. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.