KU Softball Outlook: The Outfield
Feb. 2, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
The Kansas outfield is the only area KU is forced to replace a starter this season as left fielder Betsy Wilson graduated last year.
Veteran Dougie McCaulley returns to her post in center field for her senior season. McCaulley is the team’s leading offensive threat from last season when she batted a .375 average, the fifth-best single season average in program history.
Surrounding McCaulley in the grass will most likely be junior Ally Stanton and sophomore Liz Kocon. Stanton started 25 games in the KU outfield last year but was forced to sit out mid-way through the season after breaking her nose.
Kocon is a returning starter who has seen playing time in both left and right field. She led all KU newcomers last season as a freshman with a .278 average and is capable of hitting balls over the fence as evidenced by her five home runs in 2008.
“Kocon’s confidence has really increased from when she was a freshman last year,” said head coach Tracy Bunge. “She is in better shape and she is stronger and faster from a year ago from all the hard work she has put in. She is capable of doing very good things for us and offensively she can really drive the ball.”
New to the Kansas outfield are junior transfer Alicia Irwin and freshman Kelsey Alsdorf. Irwin comes to KU with Division I experience having played two seasons for Coastal Carolina.
Alsdorf, a Littleton, Colo., native, makes the move to the outfield at Kansas where she will add some much needed depth.
“Irwin and Alsdorf were formerly infielders but will both move to the outfield,” Bunge said. “Each has been a pleasant surprise during the fall. Irwin’s D-I experience may serve critical in a pinch hitting role for us.”
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 Catchers