Sacramento, Calif. Kansas University relief pitcher Alex Jones locked down Texas State after three closely contested innings, and the Jayhawks earned a 4-2 softball victory on Saturday at Sacramento State’s Capital Classic.
Jones picked up her seventh win of the season for the Jayhawks (21-6). She relieved KU starter Alicia Pille in the bottom of the fourth, walked the first batter she faced, then held the Bobcats (5-20) without a hit or a walk for the remainder of the game. Jones also recorded four strikeouts as she stayed undefeated in her junior season.
“I can’t say enough about what she’s doing right now,” Kansas coach Megan Smith said. “That’s hard work, and that’s heart. She comes out and she fights. That’s what I love about her. She is phenomenal in the circle for us, and it’s not even because of her pitches, but because she fights. I love to see that every time she’s out there.”
Senior left fielder Maggie Hull made the most of a move to the front of KU’s lineup, leading off with a triple, and freshman catcher Alex Hugo gave the Jayhawks an early 1-0 lead with an RBI single on the next at-bat. Texas State responded in the bottom of the third inning, when Courtney Harris followed a pair of singles with a two-run double.
KU freshman shortstop Chaley Brickey tied the game with a double in the fourth, driving in senior Rosie Hull, before adding another double in the bottom of the sixth. A sacrifice bunt by Jones advanced Brickey, who then scored from third off a triple by junior Ashley Newman. Maggie Hull capped the scoring with a double that brought Newman home.
Smith praised Newman’s go-ahead hit, which came on a full count with two outs.
“Ashley Newman is a rock; she’s solid,” Smith said. “When she comes up to the plate, she’s very calm, very cool, and she gets things done. She’s had some great at-bats the last few weeks, and I think she’s doing a really good job.”
Six of the Jayhawks’ 10 hits went for extra bases: Newman’s triple, Brickey’s two doubles and two more doubles and a triple by Maggie Hull. Hull went 3-for-4 with a run and RBI, putting her just six RBIs shy of former teammate Liz Kocon’s KU-career-record mark of 135.
Kansas will close out the Capital Classic at 1 p.m. today against host Sacramento State.
Kansas 100 102 000 — 4 10 0
Texas State 002 000 000 — 2 5 1
W — Alex Jones, 7-0. L — Ashley Wright, 3-8.
2B — Maggie Hull (2), Kansas; Chaley Brickey (2), Kansas; Courtney Harris, Texas State. 3B — Maggie Hull, Kansas; Ashley Newman, Kansas.
Kansas highlights — Maggie Hull 3-for-4, RBI, R; Brickey 2-for-3, RBI, R; Newman 2-for-3, RBI, R; Jones 4 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K.