Miami Kansas University jumped to a two-run lead in the first inning, but North Carolina State rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Jayhawks on Sunday in the championship game of the Florida International Softball Tournament.
Kansas (4-1) had run-ruled NC State (4-1) in the tournament opener, but the Wolfpack won the rematch with a tiebreaking solo home run in the third inning.
“We came out really strong, they answered back and then we just kind of fell flat, which is something we don’t normally do,” KU coach Megan Smith said. “So we’ve challenged them to be fighters from inning one to inning seven. We had a great weekend nonetheless. That was a great team and a great pitcher who threw an excellent game.”
Sophomore Alicia Pille made the start for KU, but after shutting the Wolfpack out with a one-hitter in her first game against NC State on Friday, the lineup adjusted to her quickly Sunday. NCSU used two hits to tie the game in the top of the second, 2-2, before Pille was lifted for freshman pitcher Kelsey Kessler (1-1).
Kessler came in with the bases loaded and only one out in the top of the second, but quickly escaped the jam when freshman shortstop Chaley Brickey snagged a line drive and fired the ball to first for a double play.
Kessler then surrendered the winning home run in the second. She allowed a run off three hits over 52⁄3 innings.
Kansas fourth-year junior right fielder Alex Jones went 2-for-3 with a run scored, and freshman catcher Alex Hugo was 2-for-3.
Kansas will travel Friday to Auburn, Ala., to play in the Tiger Invitational.
N.C. State 021 000 0 — 3 5 0
Kansas 200 000 0 — 2 5 0
W — Emily Weiman, 4-0. L — Kelsey Kessler, 1-1.
2B — Alex Hugo, KU. HR — Hanna Sommer, NCSU.
Kansas highlights — Alex Jones 2-for-3, R; Hugo 2-for-3, RBI; Maggie Hull 1-for-3, R.