Kansas Softball To Host Home Opener This Weekend
March 4, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
After a full month on the road, the Kansas softball team (7-11) will open its 21-game home season this weekend, March 6-8, when it hosts the KU Invitational. The Jayhawks will open the tournament with a 3 p.m. contest on Friday against North Dakota State (8-4). The following day, KU will take on Northern Iowa (10-4) at 10 a.m. and Eastern Illinois (8-4) at noon. Kansas concludes the tournament on Sunday with games scheduled versus NDSU and UNI at noon at 4 p.m., respectively.
*Parking Information: Due to a men’s basketball game on Saturday, March 7 at 3 p.m., all parking lots around the softball field will close at noon. A temporary parking lot has been designated for fans just west of the Kansas soccer field, which can be accessed from 19th St. After parking, fans can then walk directly north to access the softball field.
Live stats are available for all 2009 Kansas softball contests online at www.KUAthletics.com, the official website for Kansas Athletics.
After playing its first 18 games of the season on the road, the Kansas softball team brings a 7-11 overall record into its home opener this weekend for the KU Invitational. KU is coming off a 1-2 record at the North Texas Invite last weekend where sophomore Liz Kocon paced the Jayhawks with a .571 batting average. Kocon is averaging .293 on the season and has a hit a team-high four doubles. Senior Val Chapple leads the team with a .340 average and nine RBIs and is one of four Jayhawks to start all 18 games so far this season, along with seniors Stevie Crisosto and Dougie McCaulley and junior Amanda Jobe. Crisosto (.306 average) is second in the Big 12 Conference with 13 walks, while McCaulley (.245 average) is seventh in stolen bases with seven. In the pitcher’s circle, Kansas has relied on ace Val George, who is tops on the team with a 1.83 ERA and is 6-5 over 10 starts with 63 strikeouts in 61.1 innings of work. She also ranks among the conference’s top five leaders in nearly every pitching category. Junior Sarah Vertelka has seen the second-most time from the circle having tossed 27.0 innings with 18 strikeouts and a 3.37 ERA.
Season Tickets Now On Sale
2009 Kansas softball season tickets are on sale now! General Admission tickets are $40. KU Faculty and Staff tickets are $32. Order your tickets today by calling 800-34-HAWKS or by visiting www.KUAthletics.com.
Shortstop Stevie Crisosto is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak dating back to Feb. 19 against Oregon State. It is the longest hit streak on the team so far this season and Crisosto’s longest streak since she recorded at least one hit in 13 straight games from March 11-28, 2007.
Chapple Earns All-Tournament Honors
Kansas softball third baseman Val Chapple was named to the North Texas Invite All-Tournament Team last weekend after going 5-for-9 from the plate (.556 average) in three starts and batting in a team-high five runs as the Jayhawks went 1-2 during the tournament. Of Chapple’s five hits, two went for extra bases as she registered a 1.000 slugging percentage over the weekend and scored three runs of her own and added a stolen base.
George Cracks Career Victories List
Val George cracked into the KU career record books in yet another category after last weekend’s North Texas Invite. The senior hurler notched her 33rd career victory versus Harvard on March 1 to tie Jill Bailey (1990-93) for the 10th-most wins in KU program history.
NDSU’s Frankenstein Visits Alma Mater
Kansas fans may notice a familiar face in the opposite dugout this weekend. Former KU softball standout Destiny Frankenstein is in her first season as a graduate assistant for the Bison. Frankenstein played for the Jayhawks from 2003-06, earning First Team All-Big 12 and all-region honors as a shortstop in 2005 and helping KU to a Big 12 Tournament Championship in 2006. She also ranks in the top 10 of seven offensive career lists at KU.
Following her time at KU, Frankenstein played for the New England Riptide of the National Professional Softball League (NPF) during the 2006 summer where she started at shortstop in over 60 games for the NPF’s National League champion. Frankenstein also spent time as a graduate assistant for the swimming and diving team at Nebraska in 2007-08.
With all of the early season tournaments over, Kansas softball heads to Missouri State on Thursday, March 12, for a single game at 2 p.m. in Springfield, Mo. Shortly after, KU welcomes Western Illinois to Arrocha Ballpark on Tuesday, March 17 at 3 p.m.