Kansas takes two from softball Bears
Kansas got complete game shutouts from starting pitchers Valerie George and Sarah Vertelka as the Jayhawks defeated the Missouri State softball team, 4-0 and 3-0, in doubleheader action Wednesday at the Missouri State Softball Field. The Bears’ Melissa Porche tied a season high with 13 strikeouts in the nightcap, but Vertelka held Missouri State to one hit in the game. Missouri State drops to 13-19 on the season, while Kansas improves to 25-9-1.
The Jayhawks jumped on Missouri State starter Megan Ramsey in game one, scoring three first-inning runs. Kansas got a leadoff double from Dougie McCaulley and a one-out RBI double by Stevie Cristosto to take a 1-0 lead. Cleanup hitter Elle Pottorf then launched a two-run home run to center field to put the Jayhawks ahead 3-0. Ramsey retired nine of the next 10 KU batters before Ally Stanton hit a solo homer to lead off the fifth inning.
Missouri State managed three infield hits in the game, one each by sophomore Jessie Smith, junior Lacie Ballard, and freshman Jodie Shead, but never had more than one base runner in any inning. Smith also stole her MVC-leading 12th base in the first inning. George (8-2) struck out nine batters in the complete game effort. Ramsey (4-6) allowed four runs on seven hits, while recording six strikeouts.
Kansas again struck quickly in game two, as Amanda Jobe hit a two-run home run following a leadoff walk to Pottorf in the second inning, to take a 2-0 lead. The Jayhawks tallied another run in the third inning on a Cristosto run-scoring double. The freshman Vertelka limited Missouri State to a third-inning infield single by Katie Martin, as the KU hurler improved to 5-4 on the season with the complete game shutout.
Porche (9-11) was outstanding on the mound for Missouri State, as she gave up only four hits in the game. The junior struck out the side in both innings KU scored, and struck out at least two batters in five different innings. With the 13 K’s, Porche pushed her season total to 136, five shy of a career high.
The first game of the doubleheader was delayed an hour by rain earlier in the day in Springfield.
Missouri State will continue its nine-game home stand with a three-game series against Evansville this weekend. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday, March 31, beginning at 12 noon and a single game Sunday, April 1, also starting at noon, at the Missouri State Softball Field.