Kessler Silences St. John’s; Kansas Wins, 4-0

Harli Ridling hit her fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot, in the fifth inning.
Kansas 4, St. John’s 0
Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex // Clearwater, Fla.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
KU 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 4 11 0
SJU 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1

Box Score (.pdf)

Batting Leaders
C. Brickey 3 1 1 1 0 1
H. Ridling 3 1 1 2 1 1
M. Stein 4 1 3 1 0 0
St. John’s
K. Fitzgerald 3 0 2 0 0 0
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
K. Kessler (W, 8-5) 7.0 4 0 0 0 10
St. John’s
A. Beza (L, 1-3) 4.0 10 4 4 1 1
G. Kramer 3.0 1 0 0 1 2

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Sophomore Kelsey Kessler rebounded from Friday’s loss with a 10-strikeout performance en route to her fourth shutout of the season, as Kansas downed St. John’s, 4-0, Saturday in the second day of the Under Armour Showcase at the E.C. Moore Softball Complex.
Kessler only allowed four hits, without a walk, over seven innings and improved her record to 8-5, while the Jayhawks moved their mark to 13-7 on the season.
“(Kelsey) looked great,” head coach Megan Smith said. “She gave up two big hits (on Friday) and then bounced back and just dominated (St. John’s). She threw the ball really well.  She moved the ball and kept them off balance. I was really proud of her effort.”
After a pair of scoreless innings, junior Maddie Stein gave Kessler the only run support she needed when Stein ripped a single past the second baseman to drive home Lily Behrmann, who had reached earlier on a bunt base hit.
The 1-0 Kansas lead held intact until the fifth inning when Chaley Brickey and Harli Ridling decided to play long ball for the second game in a row. Brickey led off the frame with a blast to left field, her fourth of the season, while Ridling connected for a two-run shot, also to left field, that drove home Stein, who had doubled in the gap to right-centerfield in the previous at bat.
“I liked the adjustments that both Chaley and Harli made in their at bats,” Smith said. “First at bat – learn something. Next at bat – capitalize on it. Those two and Maddie Stein are going to lead our offense and they are doing a great job for us.”
The Jayhawks finished with 11 hits for the game and stranded 12 on base. St. John’s fell to 7-11 on the season.
Stein collected three hits in the contest with a run and RBI, while Behrmann and Taylor Hatfield each posted a two-hit game.
Kansas immediately returned to the field and faced Utah in the second and final game for the Jayhawks on Saturday. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.