Pille throws no-hitter as KU softball splits

Sunday, February 23, 2014

— Kansas University junior pitcher Alicia Pille recorded the first no-hitter of her career as the Jayhawks split a pair of games on Saturday at the Jackson State softball tournament.

Pille (3-2) walked two, and another JSU batter reached on an error as Pille threw 10 strikeouts in KU’s 9-0 victory against JSU. The Jayhawks (7-5) lost earlier Saturday, 2-0, to Eastern Illinois.

“(Pille) was dominant,” KU coach Megan Smith said. “I told the team afterwards that a no-hitter is a lot about mental toughness. You have to have physical toughness and be talented, but you have to have mental toughness. She was tough the entire game against a scrappy Jackson State team. She got better and better as the game went on.”

At one point in the fifth and sixth innings, Pille threw five straight strikeouts. It was the 24th no-hitter in school history and the first since sophomore Kelsey Kessler accomplished the feat as a freshman against Texas Tech on April 7, 2013.

Kansas’ offense bounced back from a poor showing against Eastern Illinois by posting 15 hits against Jackson State. The Jayhawks were led by two doubles in a perfect 4-for-4 performance from freshman Lily Behrmann and a grand slam and a double from freshman Harli Ridling (3-for-5). Junior Maddie Stein had three hits and another of KU’s five doubles. Stein (three RBIs), Behrmann (two RBIs) and Ridling (four RBIs) accounted for all of KU’s runs.

Kansas closes out the tournament today with a rematch against SIU Edwardsville at 10 a.m.

Eastern Illinois 2, Kansas 0

Eastern Illinois 000 002 0 — 2 5 0

Kansas 000 000 0 — 0 5 0

W — Stephanie Maday, 4-1. L — Kelsey Kessler, 3-3. SV — None.

2B — Ashley Newman, Kansas. HR — Brooke Owens, Eastern Illinois.

Kansas highlights — Harli Ridling 1-for-2; Kylee Kennedy 1-for-1; Chanin Naudin 1-for-2; Newman 1-for-3; Taylor Hatfield 1-for-3.

Kansas 9, Jackson State 0

Kansas 101 012 4 — 9 15 1

Jackson State 000 000 0 — 0 0 1

W — Alicia Pille, 3-2. L — Kelsey Townsend, 3-4. SV — None.

2B — Harli Ridling, Kansas; Maddie Stein, Kansas; Chaley Brickey, Kansas; Lily Behrmann (2), Kansas. HR — Harli Ridling, Kansas.

Kansas highlights — Ridling 3-for-5, 4 RBI, 2 R, HR, 2B; Behrmann 4-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2B; Stein 3-for-5, 3 RBI, 2B; Ashley Newman 2-for-4, 3 R, SB.