KU Softball Season Outlook: A Familiar Infield
Jan. 30, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
When the 2009 Kansas softball team takes the field for the first time on Feb. 6, fans will notice quite a few familiar faces, particularly on the infield. All four of KU’s starting infielders from 2008 are back to reclaim their positions.
On the corners, senior Val Chapple returns to third base where she has started every game of her career. At first, junior Amanda Jobe will be listed on the lineup card.
Last season, Chapple led the Jayhawks with 40 runs, 37 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and 125 assists. Her .303 batting average was second-best on the team.
“Val is a very driven player who has a lot of gifts defensively,” head coach Tracy Bunge said. “She has a lot of power, runs well, and is a smart player with a lot of intensity. She is a player who wants to be the very best and wants her team to be the very best.”
Senior Stevie Crisosto and junior Sara Ramirez will fill in the middle at shortstop and second base, respectively. Like Chapple, Crisosto has also started in every game of her career. She was sixth in the Big 12 Conference last year with 34 walks.
Ramirez is coming off a good fall season and should be a more consistent performer this season.
“Sara now has two years under her belt and has become a more routine defensive player,” said Bunge. “She had a very good fall season and has been one of the most consistent performers in practice, which has developed a lot of confidence in her.”
Sophomore Kolby Fesmire also returns to the KU infield. She saw action in 36 games as a freshman, including 11 starts, mostly as a pinch runner or second baseman. Newcomer Marissa Ingle is a multi-talented player who will add further depth in the infield as she is capable of playing third base, shortstop or second base.
“Ingle is a versatile infielder who is capable of playing third base and some second base,” Bunge stated. “She is also a good hitter which could mean a potential bat off the bench in pinch hit situations.”
About the Jayhawks
Coming off its most wins since 1997 with a 37-19 record in 2008, Kansas returns eight of its starters from a year ago and 13 letterwinners overall, while welcoming five talented newcomers to the 2009 team.
KU began spring practice on Jan. 9 and will have just four weeks of practice before they open the season Feb. 6-8 in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., where four of the Jayhawks’ five opponents are ranked in the top 25.
Coming soon: The Outfield