Sacramento, Calif. Freshman pitcher Kesley Kessler tied the Kansas University record with 14 strikeouts in six shutout innings but received no decision in KU’s 1-0 eight-inning softball loss to Sacramento State on Sunday in the final game of the Capital Classic.
Three pitchers combined to surrender 15 hits, including three four for extra bases, but the lone run came on a walk-of RBI single from Keyla Papez in the bottom of the eighth.
Kessler allowed five hits and walked just two.
“Kessler threw extremely well,” KU coach Megan Smith said. “She mixed it up well and used the umpire’s zone to her advantage. She had a great outing. She gave up a big hit, and we thought we needed to make a change, but we’re really pleased with what she did.”
Freshman Jennifer Hartman (3-1) took the win after allowing seven hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
Each team stranded eight runners.
“The umpires made their presence known,” Smith said. “But every call they made was correct — you just usually don’t see them all in one game. So that was odd, but they were right. They called a good game; it was just unlucky for us.”
KU senior left fielder Maggie Hull went 2-for-4 but was the center of the most devastating out called against the Jayhawks. With a game scoreless, Hull drilled a triple to the right-field corner in the top of the fifth. She took off for home on an overthrown ball, but was tagged out when it was ruled she didn’t touch the plate.
Among the other oddities: KU junior Alex Jones was called out on a fouled bunt third strike; Hull was called out for being out of the box on a bunt in the eighth; and Jones (7-1) being called for an illegal pitch that allowed the winning run to advance to third.
After playing 28 straight on the road, KU will open its home schedule Thursday by playing host to a doubleheader with Missouri State. Game time is 3 p.m. at Arrocha Ballpark.
Kansas 000 000 00 — 0 7 1
Sacramento State 000 000 01 — 1 8 2
W — Jennifer Hartman, 3-1. L — Alex Jones, 7-1.
2B — Emily McCormick, Kortney Solis, Makenzie Wayadande, Sac. 3B —Maggie Hull, KU.
KU highlights — Hull 2-for-4; Kelsey Kessler 6 IP, 0 R, 2 BB, 14 K.