No. 2 Softball drops 1-0 decision to Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Behind a combined two-hitter from senior righthander Serena Settlemier and junior righty Kassie Humphreys, the Kansas Jayhawks upset the No. 2 ranked Texas softball team, 1-0, on Sunday to earn a split in a Big 12 weekend series at Arrocha Ballpark.
The loss snapped the Longhorns' seven-game win streak, as UT goes to 45-5 overall and to 11-2 in the Big 12 with the setback. Kansas improves to 27-21 overall and to 6-7 in league games. The shutout marked the first time in 20 games that the Longhorns have been held scoreless, dating back to a 2-0 loss at the hands of No. 9 Michigan in Fullerton, Calif. on March 17.
The Longhorns, who got singles from second baseman Chez Sievers in the fifth and shortstop Desiree Williams in the seventh, left three runners on base. Those three runners were stranded in the top of the seventh.
Down 1-0, Texas attempted to rally in the top half of the seventh.
Leading off, Williams pushed her hitting streak to eight games with a single to right field. Tina Boutelle then bunted down the third-base line, but KU third baseman Val Chapple threw to second to get Williams on the force for the first out. Humphreys then got Amber Hall to strike out looking as Boutelle stole second to give Texas a runner in scoring position. Humphreys then walked catcher Megan Willis and hit Sievers to load the bases.
Sophomore Meagan Denny was the hard-luck loser for the Longhorns. Denny, now 16-4, yielded the one run - an earned tally in the bottom of the first inning - while giving up just one hit. Denny also struck out eight, walked three and hit two batters.
The first hit batsman was costly for the Longhorns, as KU got on the board behind one hit, two walks and a hit by pitch. First baseman Nicole Washburn drew a one-out walk, walk and Jessica Moppin singled to left for the Jayhawk's lone hit of the game. After Settlemier walked to load the bases, Denny hit the next batter, Stevie Crisosto, clipping her on her left toe on a 2-2 count. That allowed Washburn to score the game's lone run.
The Longhorns would escape the inning with three KU runners on base when Heather Stanley popped up to Williams at short to end the inning.
"It was evident by the outcome that this was the matchup of the two top pitching teams in the conference," said Texas head coach Connie Clark. "Both teams played well. We just didn't get the outcome we wanted. We reminded the team after the game that every pitch is important and that we need to take that mentality to College Station on Wednesday when we face Texas A&M. We certainly can learn from this game."
Texas got its first hit in the top of the fifth when Sievers reached on a one-out infield single. Kansas played tough defense and kept Texas from advancing a runner to second, tagging Sievers out on a fielders choice which allowed sophomore designated player Rachael Cook to reach first base. Cook was then caught stealing by KU catcher Tiffany Craner to end the inning.