Kansas’ Hit Parade; Templin Top SE Louisiana, 9-1

Taylor Hatfield hit 1-for-3 with 3 RBI, including the game-winner.
Kansas 9, SE Louisiana 1
JSU Softball Field // Jackson, Miss.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
KU 1 0 2 5 1 X X 9 11 1
SE LA 0 1 0 0 0 X X 1 5 1

Box Score (.pdf)

Batting Leaders
H. Ridling 3 1 2 3 0 0
T. Hatfield 3 0 1 3 0 0
K. Lacour 1 0 1 0 2 0
A. Livaudais 1 0 1 1 1 0
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
A. Pille 1.1 3 1 1 3 2
S. Templin (W) 3.2 2 0 0 4 0
T. Bishop (L) 3.0 7 8 7 3 1
T. Stamper 2.0 4 1 1 0 1

JACKSON, Miss. – Kansas freshman pitcher Sophia Templin entered her first-collegiate game with a 1-1 tie in the second inning and the bases loaded with one out. After getting out of the inning on a pop up double play, her Jayhawk teammates scored eight runs on 10 hits over the next three innings as KU run-ruled Southeastern Louisiana, 9-1, Friday at JSU Softball Field in the second game of the Jackson State Softball Tournament.
“It is always good to come away with two wins, we can’t complain about that,” head coach Megan Smith said. “The first game we fought and battled, and I was happy to see that.  In the second game, our offense just ignited, which is good to see.”
Nine of the 10 KU batters recorded base hits in the second contest, including Ashley Newman, Harli Ridling and Maddie Stein with two apiece. Ridling and Taylor Hatfield each posted three RBI in the game, while Alex Jones scored three runs.
Jones put Kansas (6-4) up 1-0 in the first, after drawing a lead-off walk and stealing second base.  She got to third base after Ridling was hit by a pitch and Stein reached safely on a fielding error by the Lions’ shortstop. Chaley Brickey hit a ground ball to the right side of the field to score Jones on the out.
Southeastern Louisiana (2-3) tied the game in the bottom of the second after KU starter Alicia Pille walked the first two batters of the inning. After the runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt, Amanda Livaudais stroked a single to leftfield to score Megan McCollum. Pille surrendered a bunt single to the next batter, which did not score anyone, but it forced Coach Smith to make a change in the circle.
Templin threw a ball on her first pitch, but the second toss was popped in the air to Brickey at shortstop. Brickey squeezed the catch and Southeastern Louisiana’s Tori Sheppard, who was on third base and thinking that there were two outs, was easily doubled up as she dashed for home to stop the threat. Templin ended up pitching three and two-thirds innings of relief, while not allowing a run on two hits and four walks for her first-career win.
“(Sophia) is one of those pitchers who is hard to make adjustments with because she moves the ball so well and changes speeds so well,” Smith said. “It was a tough zone, so she throws a lot of strikes and I thought it was a good matchup for her in terms of zone. She just went in there with no fear and I’m sure she was nervous because it was her first game, but you couldn’t tell. She battled and went right at hitters, which is what we needed her to do.”
With two outs in the top of the third, it didn’t appear that the Jayhawks would take back the lead.  But after singles by Stein and Brickey, Hatfield scorched a two-out double into center field to drive home a pair of runs for a 3-1 advantage.
Kansas continued its torrid hitting in the fourth, sending all 10 players to the plate in the inning. KU scored five runs on four hits, which was started by Chanin Naudin’s double to leftfield. Newman drove home the first run of the inning, while Ridling plated two and Stein and Hatfield each had one apiece.
“We’ve struggled with runners in scoring position quite a bit,” Smith said. “We are getting a lot of runners on and not able to score, but in this game we had a lot of people step up which is good to see. That’s what we need keep building on offensively, is those things, and getting them comfortable in pressure situations.”
In the fifth inning, again with two outs, Kansas started another rally. Jones and Newman each singled, before Ridling followed suite and hit an RBI single to rightfield to provide the essential eight-run lead, 9-1.
With the two wins Friday, Kansas will look to continue its streak on Saturday for day two of the Jackson State Softball Tournament.  KU will face Eastern Illinois at 10 a.m. CT, before playing host Jackson State at 5:15 p.m. CT.
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