Kansas Answers Early Challenge, Tops Miami, 5-2
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — All of Ashley Newman’s three hits Sunday were valuable, but the one that rolled the furthest sparked the biggest rally. Newman reached twice on bunt singles, but her first inning triple to left center was the first of six straight hits in a three-run Kansas rally – the deciding inning of a 5-2 win over Miami (Ohio) in Frost Stadium at Warner Park.
Newman finished the game 3-for-4, with her final two hits going for an estimated combined distance of 20 feet, as Kansas clubbed 11 hits to improve to 3-0 at the Coach B Classic with the win over the Redhawks. Six of those hits came in the first inning, as knocks from Harli Ridling, Maddie Stein, Chaley Brickey, Taylor Hatfield and Chanin Naudin followed Newman’s one-out triple.
The Kansas surge erased an early 2-0 deficit, the product of a two-run blast from Redhawk designated player Jenna Modic off Jayhawk starter Alicia Pille in the top of the first. Pille labored through one inning before giving way to Alex Jones in the second and Kelsey Kessler (7-3), who was credited with the win, later in the game.
Kansas had base runners in all six innings, stranding 12 total, and added single tallies in the third and fifth. Ridling finished the game 2-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in and Naudin also tallied two hits.
No inning was more influential than the first. Jones grounded out to short after working the count full and Newman saw all she needed, sending the second offering from Miami starter Kelsey Fredericks to the warning track in left. Ridling followed with her own extra-base hit, a double to left center that plated Newman and cut the deficit in half.
Stein put runners on the corners with a single to left, then Brickey evened the tally with a single up the middle to push Ridling across. Hatfield dropped a ball just in front of a diving centerfielder to load the bases and chase Frederickson from the game.
Modic, who provided all of Miami’s run production in the game, was called upon to stop the rally but was tagged by Naudin for a knock through the left side, scoring Stein and giving KU a 3-2 lead. The Redhawks finally found a way to get out of the inning as KU’s No. 8 and 9 hitters each were retired, but the damage was done.
Jones and Kessler combined to limit Miami to just three hits over the final six innings and the added insurance runs only seemed to give the Jayhawks’ bullpen more confidence. Kessler ran her scoreless innings streak to 19 straight by striking out six over the final three frames and allowed just one hit.
Kansas was scheduled to conclude play at the Coach B Classic Sunday against Murray State at approximately 11 a.m.
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