SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A home run in the top of the seventh inning gave the Saint Mary's softball team a chance to extend the game, but Kansas responded with a home run of its own in the bottom of the frame as the Gaels fell 3-1 in Sacramento.
Playing its first game in the Sacramento State Classic, Saint Mary's trailed Kansas 1-0 heading into the seventh inning.
It took just one big swing in the top of the frame to even the score. Sarah Lira homered to lead off the inning, depositing a 2-2 pitch over the left field fence to tie the score at 1.
Kansas, which entered the week as the nation's top hitting team (.401 team average), turned to the long ball in the bottom of the inning.
Alex Jones reached to lead off the inning when she was hit by a pitch, and two pitches later Maggie Hull launched a home run of her own to left-center field, giving the Jayhawks the walk-off victory.
Until the bottom of the seventh, Saint Mary's pitcher Jessica Lemmon had been brilliant in limiting Kansas to just one unearned run. She struck out two, walked three and scattered five hits on Friday.
Joining Lira in the hit column for Saint Mary's were Brittany Sabatini, Monika Reichhardt and Loralie Fitzpatrick. Sabatini also stole a base.
Saint Mary's heads back to Shea Stadium on Saturday when the Gaels take on host Sacramento State at 1 p.m. Play wraps up Sunday when Saint Mary's plays a doubleheader against Texas State and Fresno State.