Kansas Headed East For Wolfpack Challenge
Feb. 27, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas will continue its 28-game road swing against a familiar foe in tournament-host North Carolina State as the Jayhawks head to Raleigh, N.C. to face the Wolfpack, Stony Brook, North Carolina A&T and Lafayette College in the Wolfpack Challenge, March 1-3.
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Fans can follow the action on GameTracker for all five games, located on the softball schedule page on KUAthletics.com. Live scoring and weather updates can also be found by following JayhawkSoftball on Twitter.
Vs. North Carolina A&T (first meeting): The Jayhawks and Aggies will square off for the first time. It also marks KU’s first encounter with a MEAC opponent this year.
Vs. Stony Brook (KU leads, 1-0): Kansas and Stony Brook first met last season at the Charlotte Classic. KU won 2-0 on Feb. 18, 2012.
Vs. Lafayette College (First meeting): The Jayhawks and Leopards have never met before on the softball field and this marks the first meeting with a Patriot League opponent this season.
Vs. North Carolina State (Series tied, 1-1): Kansas and NC State had not previously met until the 2013 season, when the two opened their respective seasons against each other. KU won the first meeting via an 8-0 shutout, while the Wolfpack came back for a 3-2 in just two days later.
- KU pitching coach Abbie Sims will revisit familiar territory this weekend as the first-year assistant with the Jayhawks was an All-American pitcher for the Wolfpack (2004-07).
- Kansas has led the Big 12 in batting average all three weeks of the season and sits at .377 heading into the weekend. No. 5/8 Texas sits in second place, hitting .349 as a team.
- Additionally, the Jayhawks lead the league with 29 doubles as three different players rank in the top-10 for doubles this season: sophomore Maddie Stein (7), senior Maggie Hull (6) and freshman Chaley Brickey (5).
- After sophomore Maddie Stein broke loose for 12 RBIs in Corpus Christi, Texas last weekend, she now leads the team with 20 in 2013, propelling her to a tie for third in the Big 12. Senior Maggie Hull (19) is tied for fifth, while freshman Alex Hugo (16) is tied for seventh.
- Tracking the Jayhawks continued improvement, KU was hitting .314 with a .470 slugging percentage through the first three tournaments in 2012. This season, KU has jumped up to .377 with a .526 slugging percentage.
North Carolina A&T (1-2) | Friday 1:30 p.m. CT
The Aggies were voted to finish fourth in the southern division of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and are led by 16-year coaching veteran Mamie Jones. North Carolina A&T kicked off its season last weekend and picked up its first victory in its last time out, an 11-10 decision against Maryland Eastern Shore.
All-MEAC Preseason selection Jax Woodard leads the Aggie offense. In three games, Woodard already has two homers and is hitting.500 with team-best four RBIs. She is joined by freshman utility player Kimberly Brunson, who is also hitting .500 after the first weekend of the season. The Aggies are hitting .250 as a team.
In the circle, NC A&T is led by right-handed senior Ashira Dobison’s (0-1) 4.20 ERA. The Aggies have struck out 11 batters combined and hold a 6.65 team ERA.
Stony Brook (4-6) | Friday 3:15 p.m. CT | Sunday 8 a.m. CT
Voted to finish third in the America East Conference Preseason Poll, Stony Brook is led by 13-year head coach Megan Bryant. The Seawolves enter the weekend 4-6, winning three of their last four. Already facing solid competition, they opened the season with two games against then-No. 17 Louisville.
Stony Brook boasts the reigning America East Pitcher of the Year in sophomore Allison Cukrov (1-4), but is led in 2013 by junior Christine Lucido (3-0) and her 2.45 ERA. As a unit, the Stony Brook pitching staff holds a 2.22 ERA with 33 strikeouts.
At the plate, four Seawolves starters are hitting .333 or better despite tallying only two home runs as a team. Sophomore Bria Green leads the offense with a .393 batting average and is one of two players to hit a home run this season. Stony Brook doesn’t appear to be aggressive on the base paths with only two steals this season.
Lafayette College (0-0) | Friday | 1 p.m. CT
Picked to finish fourth in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, the Lafayette Leopards will open their season at the Wolfpack Challenge. The team is led by third-year head coach Meaghan Asselta, and finished 14-40 in 2012. Sophomore Kristen Berger leads the returners after posting a .281 batting average while starting all 54 games in 2012. The Leopards hit a collective .229 in 2012.
Junior right-handed pitcher Melissa Robinson led the pitching staff a year ago with a 13-24 record and a 2.65 ERA. She recorded 102 strikeouts and held batters to a .265 batting average. The team posted a combined 3.57 ERA a year ago,
North Carolina State (7-5-1) | Saturday | 3:45 p.m. CT
The Wolfpack is 7-5-1 under the first-year leadership of head coach Shawn Rychcik. NC State opened the season with a 4-1 record at the FIU Tournament, including a 8-0 loss and a 3-2 win against Kansas. In their latest action, the Wolfpack went 1-1-1 last weekend at the Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament in Atlanta, Ga., losing on Saturday to Georgia State, 5-1.
The Wolfpack offense is paced by senior outfielder Caitlin Dent’s .303 batting average, the only member of the team hitting over a .300 clip. Sophomore shortstop Renada Davis, the 2012 ACC Rookie of the Year, leads the team with eight RBIs and six home runs. As a unit, NC State is hitting just .211 but boasts an impressive 14 home runs.
In the circle, sophomore right-hander Emily Weiman (7-4) has recorded each of her team’s wins this season and leads the staff with a 2.12 ERA. She also possesses 60 of the Wolfpack’s 63 strikeouts.
Kansas travels to Boca Raton, Fla., to play in the Florida Atlantic Tournament. Aside from the host school, the Jayhawks will also face Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Michigan State and Louisiana-Monroe, March 8-10.
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