Jayhawks Select Team Captains for 2012 Season

Jan. 17, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Three members of the Kansas softball team were selected as the 2012 team captains as the Jayhawks prepare to open the season.

Redshirt senior Liz Kocon and juniors Mariah Montgomery and Maggie Hull were chosen by their teammates and coaches to serve as the team leaders throughout the season. Kocon and Montgomery will reclaim their captain roles from a year ago, while Hull was selected for the first time.

“Through fall evaluations, we get the team’s ideas on who they see as leaders and why, so we do get their input,” head coach Megan Smith said. “Since Liz and Mariah were both captains last year, we felt like they both gained a lot of leadership experience and are ready to be even better leaders this year. Maggie really emerged last season, this summer and this fall as someone that the team looks to because of her work ethic, desire and passion. We’ve got a strong group, and they are three very different leaders so between them they’ll be able to reach everyone on the team.”

A dynamite trio at the plate, the three combined for 33 of the Jayhawks’ program-best 60 home runs in 2011. An outfielder and designated hitter, Kocon led the way with 14 homers, the second-most in a season in school history. Hull, an outfielder, knocked in 49 RBI, which also checked in at second-best all-time in the program. The shortstop, Montgomery, has started every game in her first two years at Kansas and knocked out 10 home runs last season. According to Smith, it was more than their playing abilities that earned each of them the captain nod.

“They have to be good communicators and always understand our vision, our goals and what we’re doing,” Smith said regarding her expectations. “They have to keep everybody on track with those. If they see anything start to slip, they have to be able to step up to hold themselves and their teammates accountable. That’s what we’re looking for – that strong character on and off the field.”

As the team looks to build on the 31-22 record from a year ago, Smith knows each of them will have a unique hand in leading the Jayhawks to success in 2012.

“It’s a good mix of personalities, strengths and weaknesses with those three,” Smith said. “They take it very seriously in making sure we have good chemistry. One of our sayings this year is `One Team, One Heartbeat’ and I think those three exemplify that.”

Kansas will open the 2012 season against Tennessee-Martin in game one of the Southeastern Lion Classic in Hammond, La., Feb. 10-12.