Kansas Heads East for the Charlotte Classic
Feb. 15, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Riding a three-game win streak out of the opening weekend, the Kansas softball team prepares to extend its early success at the Charlotte Classic in Charlotte, N.C., Feb. 17-19.
Friday, Feb. 17
vs. Middle Tennessee State: 9 a.m. CT
vs. Charlotte: 11 a.m. CT
Saturday, Feb. 18
vs. Stony Brook: 9 a.m. CT
vs. Bracket Play, TBA
Sunday, Feb. 19
vs. Bracket Play, 11 a.m. CT
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
Fans can follow the action on GameTracker for all fives games, located on the softball schedule page on KUAthletics.com. Live scoring updates can also be found by following JayhawkSoftball on Twitter.
– Kansas (3-2) stays on the road for five games in Charlotte, N.C. The first 29 games of the Jayhawks’ season take place away from Arrocha Ballpark.
– KU holds a 1-0 series record against Middle Tennessee State and Charlotte, but Saturday morning will mark the first meeting with Stony Brook.
– The Jayhawks opened the season with five games at the Southeastern Lion Classic last weekend, falling in their first two games before rebounding to win three-straight to close out the debut road trip.
– KU battled the elements all weekend, enduring a six-hour rain delay on opening day against Tennessee-Martin and Troy. In the last three games, the temperatures stayed in the 30s with wind chills in the 20s.
Rain delays and walks controlled an uncharacteristic opening day for the Jayhawks, who opened the year with back-to-back losses to Tennessee-Martin and Troy. After combining for 22 walks in the first two games, KU’s pitching staff was on point for the remainder of the weekend – striking out 28 and walking 10.
In the circle, freshman Alicia Pille (2-2) tossed a pair of complete game shutouts in the second and third starts of her career. In the final game of the weekend, Pille threw seven scoreless innings and struck out 13 en route to a 1-0 victory against Northern Colorado. The 13 strikeouts are the second-most by a Jayhawk pitcher in school history, while her 32 Ks on the season rank second in the Big 12 Conference.
At the plate, KU is hitting .269 as a team compared to its opponents .175 average with three home runs and a nearly 2-to-1 walk to strikeout ration. Redshirt senior Liz Kocon sits tied with Big 12 Player of the Week Lexy Bennett (Texas) with 10 RBIs in the first week of the season. Kocon’s hitting at a .600 clip and needs eight RBIs to become the all-time leader at Kansas.
Five freshmen started in three of the Jayhawks’ games last weekend and each are finding ways to produce. Rookie catcher Lexi Bryant homered in her first career at bat, while third baseman Chanin Naudin went 3-for-3 in the team’s last time out. Both Naudin and Maddie Stein recorded their first career RBIs and Cassen Salamone notched her first hit.
–Middle Tennessee State (0-0) will open its season against Kansas in the first game of the Charlotte Classic. The Blue Raiders were selected to finish ninth in the Sunbelt Conference Preseason poll after an 18-33 record in 2011. Junior pitcher Caty Jutson led the pitching staff with a 4.81 ERA in 91.2 IP last season.
–Stony Brook (0-0) will also kickoff the 2012 campaign at the Charlotte Classic following a 20-29 year in 2011. The Seawolves were selected to finish fifth in the America East Conference. Senior infielder and America East Second-Team selection, Lauren Maloney will look to lead her team after posting a .307 batting average and 17 RBIs in 2011.
–Charlotte (2-2) is coming off a split with Appalachian State in a Feb. 15 doubleheader. Freshman pitcher Lexi Betancourt tossed a one-run complete game to win the nightcap against ASU, 6-1. At the plate, freshman shortstop Natalie Capone led the team at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Kansas will head to North Carolina for the second-straight weekend to play in the Seahawk Classic hosted by UNC Wilmington, Feb. 24-26. The Jayhawks will kickoff the weekend against Fairfield University at 9 a.m. CT.