Jill Bailey simply overmatched opposing hitters in high school.
"If we scored a run, we'd usually win," said Kansas University's freshman softball pitcher from Park Hill High in Kansas City, Mo.
"I'd throw one pitch a fastball. That was all I needed," noted Bailey, who compiled a near-perfect 0.15 earned run average last year.
College, the right-hander has discovered, is a different story.
"I learned right away I had to make the ball move if I wanted to get anybody out," said Bailey, now 3-6 after allowing just one hit in a 4-0 win over Wisconsin-Green Bay Saturday at Jayhawk Field.
"I had to learn a rise-ball, a drop-ball. If there is one thing I could say to high school pitchers it'd be, `Learn to make the ball move.'''
BAILEY, WHO once struck out 17 batters in a game, whiffed four Green Bay hitters Saturday in the second game of a Jayhawk Invitational tripleheader.
She was ready to pitch after watching senior staff ace Roanna Brazier allow just a seventh-inning single in a 3-0 win over Kearney State.
Brazier, now 13-3, allowed three unearned runs in KU's late-afternoon 3-2 loss to Iowa.
"Seeing Roanna pitch like that makes me want to get out there. It makes me think, `I have to follow her,''' said Bailey, whose only blemish was a second-inning double by Green Bay's Chris Brown.
"Roanna helps me a lot," noted Bailey, who played softball, basketball and volleyball at Park Hill.
"Anytime I have questions, Roanna will answer them, just like the coaches. Or she'll come up and say, `Jill, you might want to try this.'
"Next year, I'd like to walk in her shoes," said Bailey, who could be the team's No. 1 pitcher when Brazier, a Moro, Ill., senior, graduates.
KU COACH Kalum Haack was especially pleased with his pitchers Saturday.
"Except for one inning, we shut them out," said Haack. No. 15-ranked Iowa, in fact, wiped out a 2-0 KU lead by plating three runs with the help of two KU errors in the sixth.
"It's disappointing because we played such good ball today, with the exception of that one inning. You need good defense to beat these ranked teams. We stress defense and the bunting game. We threw one of their bunts away and misplayed another," Haack said.
KU could possibly play Iowa again today. The Jayhawk Invitational continues at 9 a.m. when Kearney State meets Wisconsin-Green Bay. At 10:30, Iowa faces the loser of that first game.
At 1 p.m., KU meets the Kearney-Green Bay winner. Victories by KU and Iowa would mean a rematch at 3 p.m.
"We'd like to play them again. We always like to play teams of that caliber," said Haack, whose Jayhawks are 19-13.
THE COACH had a lot to be happy about Saturday. Versus Kearney, Camille Spitaleri went 2-3, while Christy Arterburn, Jessica Hennig, Brazier, Jodi Hoyer, Jennifer Frost and Mona Stanfield had a hit apiece. Hennig also had an RBI.
"Arterburn played unbelievable defense," said Haack. She made a diving catch and caught a sinking line drive at short."
Versus Green Bay, Arterburn, Hennig, Brazier, Shelly Sack, Frost and Kathy Hill each had hits; Spitaleri and Sack knocked in runs.
Kim Sacco had two hits and an RBI versus Iowa, while Hennig also had a hit and RBI. Hoyer and Stanfield had a hit apiece.
"We're playing good ball right now," said Haack. "We just have to get over the hump in crucial situations. We're close to being a really good team."
"We'd like to play Iowa again," noted Bailey. "Because we had just that one bad inning today. We'd like to get another chance.'
KANSAS 3, KEARNEY STATE 0 Kearney State
Susan Johnson and Sabrena Swanson; Roanna Brazier and Jodi Hoyer. W Brazier (13-2). L Johnson.
KANSAS 4, WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY 0 Wisconsin-Green Bay
Sheila Taylor and Chris Brown; Jill Bailey and Kathy Hill. W Bailey (3-6). L Taylor.
2B Brown, Wisconsin-Green Bay.
IOWA 3, KANSAS 2 Iowa
Terri McFarland and Diane Pohl; Roanna Brazier and Jodi Hoyer. W McFarland. L Brazier (13-3).
2B Kim Sacco, Hoyer, KU.