Jayhawk Softball Heads South for 2011 Season Opener

Feb. 9, 2011


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Second-year head coach Megan Smith and the Kansas softball team will begin their 2011 season this weekend, Feb. 11-13, when they participate in the Jacksonville University Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. The five-game weekend is highlighted by the Jayhawks’ season opener versus Coach Smith’s alma mater, North Carolina, on Friday at 8:30 a.m. KU will also face Buffalo, Bethune- Cookman and Jacksonville during the tournament.

Kansas returns seven starters from last year’s 21-35 squad and 11 letterwinners overall, including the team’s top five offensive threats from a year ago. Coach Smith and her staff have also added eight talented newcomers to the mix. Sophomore Rosie Hull led the team with a .350 batting average in 2010 and was one of three Jayhawks to hit above .300 along with sophomores Mariah Montgomery (.302) and Alex Jones (.301). Montgomery was also an All-Big 12 Second Team selection last season and was named a team captain for 2011 with teammates Jones and redshirt junior Liz Kocon. Kocon, who suffered a season-ending injury after just five games last year, will be looked upon to add some pop to the lineup as she led the team with 30 RBIs as a sophomore in 2009 and her nine home runs tied for the ninth-most single-season homers in program history.

In the pitcher’s circle, the Jayhawks bring back senior Allie Clark and Jones. Clark saw the most innings last year and racked up a team-high eight victories while Jones earned a team-best 23 starts. The bullpen has added much-needed depth with the addition of junior transfer Ashley Spencer and freshmen Kristin Martinez and Colleen Hohman. Behind the backstop senior Brittany Hile will once again get the starting nod after starting all 56 contests at catcher in 2010.

Live stats for all of KU’s games this weekend will be available at www.KUAthletics.com.