KU Softball Outlook: The Catchers
Feb. 4, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
A three-person crew will make up the Kansas catching staff in 2009, led by senior Elle Pottorf.
Pottorf was the team’s starting catcher last season until a torn ACL just 21 games into the season forced the Topeka, Kan., native to sit out the rest of the year. Pottorf has made a full recovery and will return to the Jayhawks’ lineup in a catcher and designated player role.
“Pottorf has worked extremely hard to get back her strength and flexibility and her knee is in great shape,” said head coach Tracy Bunge. “We are expecting her to play big innings behind the plate, but we really need her bat in the lineup. She is a key clutch hitter.”
With Pottorf’s injury last year, Brittany Hile stepped in to catch the remainder of the season and started 55 games behind the plate as a freshman. Besides her defensive abilities, Hile made good use of her bat recording a .245 batting average and leading the team with 11 doubles.
“Hile got great experience last year and she did a great job defensively,” Bunge said. “She has great tools behind the plate. We will see her grow mentally in understanding the game better and being a more vocal leader.”
New to the squad this year is freshman Leah Daiber whose strong arm will provide even more depth at the catcher position. Daiber is a two-time first team all-conference selection out of Ladue High School in St. Louis, Mo. Voted her school’s most outstanding female senior athlete, Daiber led her conference with a .545 batting average and five home runs as a senior.
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.