Archive for Monday, April 2, 2007

Pint-sized Ramirez tees off in KU loss

April 2, 2007


Sara Ramirez can't tell you where her power comes from.

"Mechanics, I guess," the Kansas University softball second baseman said with a smile. "Or eating, maybe. I had a pretty big breakfast."

Ramirez, whose height is listed as 5-foot-1, slugged a home run - her fourth of the season - and nearly had another in Sunday's 5-3 loss to Baylor at Arrocha Ballpark.

A freshman from Pacoima, Calif., Ramirez's third-inning solo homer was the Jayhawks' lone hit through five innings against Baylor freshman right-hander Kirsten Shortridge.

"I really was disappointed with our offense for five innings," KU coach Tracy Bunge said. "I felt we were passive, swinging at pitches out of the zone and chasing that kid's drops."

Kansas finally flashed out of its funk in the sixth inning. With two outs, Dougie McCaulley walked, and Nicole Washburn followed with a ringing double into the right-center-field gap.

McCaulley was thrown out at the plate on a bang-bang play, however. Thus the Jayhawks went into the bottom of the seventh lagging, 5-1, yet apparently awakened by Washburn's wallop.

Stevie Crisosto began the final frame with a line single to right, and Elle Pottorf followed with a home run over the right center-field fence. That was it for Shortridge, who was replaced by Lisa Ferguson.

"We looked totally different in the sixth and seventh," Bunge said. "We made (Shortridge) come up in the zone."

Now Kansas was down by just two runs with no outs, and the crowd was in the game.

Minutes later, Amanda Jobe greeted Ferguson with a sinking line drive to right that Shortridge, who had moved to the outfield, snatched off the grass with a diving catch.

Ferguson fanned Val Chapple for the second out, but that brought Ramirez to the plate again, and she launched another high drive to left that hit high off the fence just outside fair territory.

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"I was hoping for the ball to be fair," Ramirez said. "I said please go out, but it didn't."

Moments later, Ramirez struck out swinging and Baylor went back to Waco, Texas, with its perfect Big 12 Conference record intact at 4-0. Kansas evened at 2-2.

Baylor forged its early cushion by teeing off on KU ace Kassie Humphreys for the second day in a row. Humphreys gave up five runs - including a two-run homer by shortstop Karen Sage - in 3 1/3 innings. Valerie George replaced Humphreys, surrendering just one hit and fanning six in 3 2/3 innings.

"The last four or five games she's been really good," Bunge said of George, a sophomore right-hander who has won her last eight decisions.

Bunge could have started George on Sunday, but the KU coach opted to use Humphreys again.

"I talked with Kassie about the adjustments she needed to make," Bunge said. "I thought, being a senior, she would bounce back and have a good day, but she's a little off now and struggling to find herself."

Kansas (25-11-1) has three more games coming soon at Arrocha - a doubleheader Tuesday against Arkansas and a single game Wednesday against Nebraska.


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