Kansas Blanks Jackson State, 7-0
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas’ list of disgruntled opposing batters grew to 117 as the Jayhawk pitching staff ran its scoreless innings total to 33.0 and notched its fifth consecutive shutout by blanking Jackson State, 7-0, Saturday morning in its second game of the Jayhawk Invitational at Arrocha Ballpark.
Already among the top-25 in earned run average (ERA) in this week’s NCAA Division I statistical rankings, Kansas dropped its season ERA under 1.50 to 1.49 following seven more shutout innings and allowing one hit against the Tigers. Kansas hasn’t allowed a run since the third inning of a win over Utah on March 8 and has won seven straight.
Junior pitcher Alicia Pille (7-2) recorded her second-straight shutout in the circle for the Jayhawks (19-7) and has tossed 12.0 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to March 11. The Royce City, Texas native struck out 10 batters in her seventh win of the year. Pille has struck out 10 or more batters four times this season.
Junior Maddie Stein drove in the first run of the game with an infield single to the Tigers shortstop. She finished three-for-four with a team-best three RBIs. Senior Alex Jones scored on a ground out adding to Kansas’ lead, 2-0, after one full inning of play.
Jackson State’s Chelsea Smith hit a ground-rule double in the second inning for the first and only hit off Pille, who sat down the first three batters she faced in order. After giving up the lead-off double, Pille buckled down and got out of the top of the second inning unscathed. In two appearances against the Tigers, Pille hasn’t allowed a run and only one hit. Earlier this season, Pille recorded her first career no-hitter against Jackson State (2/22).
In the third inning, junior Chanin Naudin increased Kansas’ lead, 3-0, after driving in a run with a single down the left field line. Stein drove in her second run of the game in the fourth inning with a single as the Jayhawks took a 4-0 lead into the fifth inning.
Stein started the sixth inning with an RBI single through the right side and freshman Harli Ridling followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-0 in KU’s favor. Senior Taylor Hatfield capped off the scoring with an RBI triple off the right field wall, her second triple of the season, as Kansas headed to the final inning with a 7-0 lead.
Pille finished off the final frame without giving up a run. The Jayhawks improved to 2-0 on the weekend with the 7-0 win over Jackson State. The Tigers starter Breea Jamerson picked up the loss after striking out three batters in five innings of work. She allowed nine hits and three earned runs.
Hatfield (2-for-4) recorded her second-straight multi-hit game, while Newman, Jones and Stein also collected multi-hit games. Kansas outhit the Tigers 13-1.
Kansas concludes play at the Jayhawk Invitational later this evening at 6 p.m. against No. 14 Nebraska, a game that can be heard by subscribers of Jayhawk Digital Passport at KUAthletics.com/showcase.
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