COURTESY: KU Sports Information
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Among the swirling talk of offensive records in Wednesday night’s sweep of UMKC, sophomore Alicia Pille threw her second shutout of the night to power Kansas to a 4-0 victory in the nightcap at Arrocha Ballpark.
Although UMKC (16-19) slowed the hot-hitting Jayhawks (29-13) in their second encounter, the Kangaroos were unable to get anything going against Pille (13-6). She went the distance again in game two, tossing her seventh shutout of the season and 15th of her career- moving her into a tie for 10th all-time by Jayhawk pitchers.
“Alicia Pille looked really sharp today,” head coach Megan Smith said. “Her first game went so well that we wanted to see her do it again. So we put her back out there and she looked just as sharp. It’s good for her to get those innings in to get ready for this weekend (against Baylor).”
In games one and two combined, Pille threw 12 shutout innings, allowed three hits, walked three and struck out 20. After racking up 10 strikeouts in game one, Pille rung up 10 more in game two.
“It kind of felt like one long game after the first one ended quickly,” Pille said. “So we just kept rolling. I think that’s the first time I’ve done that (struck out 20 in one day) so it’s exciting.”
Opposite her was UMKC starter Cinda Ramos (4-9), who also started both games on Wednesday. She took the loss, but made adjustments in the circle to help prevent KU’s hitters from finding the same groove they found in game one. She allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out two in her complete game effort.
“Those are two good wins,” Smith said. “UMKC always plays us tough. They have a really good offense and a really good team. That first game, we just caught fire and didn’t stop so that was really good for us. In the second game, I thought their pitcher (Ramos) did a really good job. She bounced back and held us, but we worked extremely hard and I thought Pille was the star tonight.”
Offensively, sophomore catcher Maddie Stein sparked KU’s power. More than half of KU’s eight hits went for extra bases, consisting of four double and a triple. Stein went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a double, while freshman designated player Alex Hugo also drove in a run with a double.
Senior left fielder Maggie Hull cranked out a double and a triple, ending Wednesday night tied with former Jayhawk Liz Kocon for the career RBI title (135). Fellow senior Mariah Montgomery went 2-for-2 with a double, a run scored and a walk to make her a perfect 4-for-4 between the two games.
The majority of KU’s scoring came in the bottom of the third. After Montgomery and Hull drew walks, Hugo and Stein connected on back-to-back doubles to hang three runs on the board. When Hull led off the fifth with a double, Stein drove her in for the final run of the night.
Leading 4-0 after the fifth, Pille sat the ‘Roos in order in the sixth and seventh to collect the victory.
Kansas will stay home to host No. 19/16 Baylor from April 26-28 inside Arrocha Ballpark. Game times are set for 6 p.m., 2 p.m. and noon.