🥎 Jayhawks Begin Homestand Against SDSU and UNI
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball (9-5) begins a 14-game homestand at Arrocha Ballpark on Wednesday, March 10 with a doubleheader against South Dakota State. Action continues Thursday with a single game against the Jackrabbits before capping the weekend with single games against the University of Northern Iowa on Friday and Saturday.
The Jayhawks are coming off a 4-1 performance last weekend at the Wooo Pig Classic and are 8-2 in the last 10 games played. With an overall record of 9-5, KU is off to the best start since head coach Jennifer McFalls took over the program in 2019.
Here’s what to know about the Jayhawks entering this weekend:
vs South Dakota State
- Kansas leads the overall series against SDSU, 5-2, and holds a 2-0 record in games played in Lawrence.
- The last time both of these programs met was Feb. 27, 2018 for a doubleheader in Conway, Arkansas where KU dropped the first game, 7-4, before the Jayhawks picked up a 5-1 victory.
- Both teams were scheduled to meet earlier this season at the Tracy Beard College Classic but the game was canceled due to weather.
vs Northern Iowa
- UNI leads the overall series, 5-4, and holds a 4-0 lead over KU for games played in Lawrence. Kansas last beat the Panthers on March 3, 2006 with a five-inning, run-rule victory, 15-2, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Both programs last met on March 9, 2018 in Lawrence where UNI captured the 8-4 victory over the Jayhawks.
- Shelby Gayre has started the 2021 season where she left off at the end of the shortened season in 2020. Through 14 games, Gayre is batting .333 with a .846 slugging percentage. She has 13 hits – including six home runs – and leads the team with 15 RBIs.
- Last weekend, the redshirt junior batted .333 with one home run, one double and one run scored. She also tallied four RBIs.
- Shelby Gayre was able to have a banner 2020 season, despite it being cut short. Not only did Gayre lead the team with a .393 average, she also led the team with 11 home runs, 24 RBIs and 13 walks. She was named a second-team All-American by Softball America.
- Redshirt junior, Sydnee Ramsey, has come into her own in the 2021 season.
- She started the first four games of the season batting third before making the jump to the leadoff position against UTA on Feb. 26. She has led off ever since.
- Ramsey currently leads all starters with a .417 average with 20 hits on the season. She has hit four home runs and three doubles to record 11 RBIs and score 15 runs. She has also stolen one base.
- Defensively, Ramsey has started every game at shortstop. With her experience up the middle, Ramsey has turned seven double plays this season.
- Last weekend, Ramsey batted .368 with one double, two RBIs and five runs scored. She also turned three double plays.
- Madison Hirsch, referred to as Coco amongst the team, is off to a strong start in her second season in a Jayhawk uniform.
- As a sophomore, Hirsch has started every game this season as either the designated player or at third base. She is batting .341 with 14 hits – including a home run and a double – with nine RBIs and 11 runs scored. She is also tied for the top spot for most stolen bases with three this season.
- In Fayetteville last weekend, Hirsch batted .308 with four hits, three RBIs and two runs. She also stole two bases and picked up two walks and was hit by two pitches for a .471 on-base percentage.
- Senior Brittany Jackson has been nothing short of consistent in the 120+ games in the blue and red.
- In the nine games Jackson has started in this season, she is batting .321 with nine hits – including a double and a triple. She has scored eight runs and brought in five runners while also recording three stolen bases.
- Last weekend, Jackson posted a .400 batting average with
- Jackson started the season in the leadoff position before missing the third week of the season. In the five-games played since being back, Jackson has shifted to the second spot and settled in nice being known for her bunt skills. Once Ramsey gets on in the leadoff spot, Jackson is able to execute a bunt for either a sac bunt attempt, or most recently, showcasing her speed to beat the attempted throw to first to put two runners on with no outs.
- Defensively, Jackson shows off her speed in centerfield making catches throughout the outfield to help eliminate opposing team runners getting on.
- Senior Tarin Travieso has become a constant in the Jayhawks lineup this season.
- With three multi-hit games and five multi-RBI games, Travieso’s bat has come alive to post a .295 average with 13 hits – including three home runs and two doubles. She also has 15 RBIs and seven runs scored.
- At the UTSA Classic, Travieso led things offensively batting .500 with seven hits, two home runs, 11 RBIs and five runs.
From the Circle
- Six Jayhawks have appeared in the circle this season pitching a minimum of 4.2 innings. Combined, the six have tallied 85 strikeouts against opponents and limited them to a .236 batting average.
- Hailey Reed leads the way with 27.1 innings pitched and has 14 strikeouts. She has posted a 4-2 record on the season most recently picking up a win against Northwestern State after pitching 6.0 innings.
- Sophomore Tatum Goff follows Reed with 23.2 IP and leads the charge with 26 strikeouts. Goff has a 2-1 record and one save under her belt.
- Lexy Mills rounds out the top corps with 18.1 IP and 23 strikeouts. Mills recently pitched 6.1 innings against NSU before giving up a hit. During this game, she picked up her first victory on the season through six appearances.
- Kasey Hamilton, Savanna DesRochers and Hannah Todd round out the pitching staff with 15, three and four strikeouts, respectively. Hamilton and DesRochers have each started in at least one game and Todd has picked up a save.
Rounding out the team
- Clutch performances have been made from different Jayhawks this season, both starting and coming off the bench.
- Morgyn Wynne has appeared in 13 games this season making 12 starts. She has seven hits on the season with five home runs, one double and 11 RBIs. In Fayetteville, Wynne came off the bench to pinch hit against NSU and hit a three-run homer to spark the Jayhawks offense.
- Cheyenne Hornbuckle leads the charge with a .455 average and five hits this season after appearing in 11 games. Hornbuckle came up big in Fayetteville with a double against NSU as a pinch hitter. She also finished the weekend with a RBI.
- Ashlyn Anderson is making herself a presence in KU’s lineup batting .333 on the year. She currently has 11 hits, 11 runs scored and six RBIs. Last weekend, Anderson batted .364 with two doubles, six runs and four RBIs.
- Kasey Hamilton recorded her first-career home run in her first appearance at the plate against Drake.
- Macy Omli has started in 13 games this season and is batting .231 with six hits and two runs scored.
- Eight other Jayhawk players have appeared at the plate at least once this season including: Miranda Rodriguez, Angela Price, Lyric Moore, Jordan Richards, Sophia Buzard, Kaitlyn Gee and DesRochers.
Last Weekend – Wooo Pig Classic
- Kansas finished last weekend 4-1 taking two games apiece against Drake and Northwestern State while dropping one to No. 20 Arkansas.
- Hornbuckle led the charge with a .429 average followed by Jackson (.400) and Ramsey (.368).
- KU scored 27 runs while limiting opponents to only 17.
- In the circle, Reed picked up two victories, while DesRochers and Mills each nabbed one. Goff finished with a save.