Wednesday, March 28, 2012

KU softball splits pair with Bears


— Kansas split its doubleheader with Missouri State Tuesday night at Killian Stadium, winning 4-2 in the opener, then losing 5-4.

“We came out and didn’t play our type of game in the second game,” coach Megan Smith said. “We did in spurts but not consistently. You have to bring that focus and intensity consistently against teams at this level or you’re not going to win.”

In the first game, the Jayhawks (23-7) scored four runs in the sixth inning on the way to earning their ninth win in the last 11 meetings with the Bears. Freshman pitcher Alicia Pille (11-4) recorded her ninth complete game, striking out five.

Liz Kocon and Mariah Montgomery each drove in a pair of runs in the sixth-inning rally. Maggie Hull went 2-for-3 at the plate.

The Bears (14-11) scored in their first at-bat, but Pille retired the next eight batters before surrendering a walk and a single in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Kocon, KU’s all-time RBI leader, crushed a two-run double to the right field wall in the sixth inning to give Kansas its first lead of the game, 2-1.

The Bears answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning and hit two singles in the seventh, but Pille’s fifth strikeout ended the game.

In the second game, the Jayhawk lineup started with three singles and a walk to take a 2-0 lead before Missouri State recorded its first out. An error by the Bears gave KU a 3-0 advantage.

Missouri State scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to gain a 4-3 lead. KU tied the game in its next at-bat, but the Bears took back the lead in the fifth, 5-4.

Kansas begins a three-game series at Oklahoma in Norman on Friday, game time 7 p.m.


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