Jayhawk Softball Heads To Missouri State Thursday
March 10, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
With the tournament portion of its regular-season schedule complete, the Kansas softball team (9-14) heads to Missouri State (9-7) Thursday, March 12, for a doubleheader beginning at at 2 p.m. in Springfield, Mo.
Live stats are available for all 2009 Kansas softball contests online at www.KUAthletics.com, the official website for Kansas Athletics.
Kansas softball wrapped up the tournament portion of its regular-season schedule last weekend during its KU Invitational, where the team finished 2-3 in the three day tournament and is now 9-14 overall. Senior Val Chapple paces the Jayhawks with a .381 batting average and has struck out just five times in 63 at bats. She also has a team-high seven multi-hit games and 14 RBIs. Sophomore Liz Kocon is next with a .327 average and 11 runs batted in. She leads the team with five doubles and is currently riding a four-game hitting streak. Senior Stevie Crisosto and sophomore Allie Clark also hit above .300 averaging .323 and .302, respectively, while Crisosto has drawn a team-high 15 walks, fourth in the Big 12. Four KU pitchers share time from the circle led by senior Val George, who has a 2.57 ERA and 80 strikeouts through 76.1 innings. Sarah Vertelka follows with a 2.97 ERA, but has a 2.15 earned run average over her last four appearances and has given up just one extra-base hit in her last 16.0 innings.
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.
Scouting Missouri State
After going 2-2 during its first home games of the season last weekend, Missouri State is 9-7 overall. Jessie Smith is tops on the team batting .469, second in the Missouri Valley Conference, and is one of two players to start all 16 games for the Bears. She also leads the team with three home runs, seven stolen bases and a .519 on-base percentage. Jenna Schwark has batted in a team-high 10 runs and is averaging .495 from the plate. Three MSU pitchers have tossed at least 30 innings led by Lauren McGinley, who is ninth in the MVC with a 2.17 ERA. She is 5-1 and has pitched 38.2 innings behind Natalie Rose’s 40 innings of work. Rose has struck out a team-high 48 batters and allowed just four walks as she has a 2.80 ERA and 3-3 record. Missouri State finished 28-22 in 2008 and return 12 letterwinners from that squad along with head coach Holly Hesse. Hesse is 538-508-2 in her 21st season with the Bears’ softball program.
KU holds a 62-14 lead in the all-time series with Missouri State and has won the last 10 meetings dating back to March 9, 2004. The Jayhawks are 20-5 in Springfield and last lost on MSU’s home field on April 4, 2001 (4-3). The Bears have won back-to-back games just once (2000) in a series that dates back to 1978.
Chapple Named Candidate for Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award
Kansas softball senior Val Chapple has been named a candidate for the 2009 softball division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award along with 29 other collegiate softball student-athletes.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact. Student-athletes chosen for the award excel not only on the playing field, but also in the classroom and in their community.
The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. The ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans. The award winner will be announced and recognized at the 2009 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Four Jayhawks combined for five home runs during last weekend’s five-game KU Invitational. Sophomore Allie Clark finished with two, including a grand slam, while Val Chapple, Stevie Crisosto and Amanda Jobe also connected for a four-bagger.
Kansas totaled season highs in its win over North Dakota State Sunday as the Jayhawks racked up 12 runs on 15 hits. KU’s 15 hits were the most by a KU team since the Jayhawks totaled 16 hits on May 7, 2005, versus Iowa State.
Clark‘s Grand Slam
Sophomore Allie Clark has been a reliable offensive weapon for the Jayhawks as of late. In KU’s game with Eastern Illinois on March 8, the Hesperia, Calif., native recorded a grand slam, her second home run in three days. The pitcher/utility player has eight hits in her last six games to account for 10 runs batted in during that span. Clark is also tied with a team-high three multi-RBI games so far this season with fellow sophomore Liz Kocon.
KU returns home to Arrocha Ballpark on Tuesday, March 17, when its hosts Western Illinois in a 3 p.m. game. The Jayhawks then open Big 12 Conference play March 21-22 at Oklahoma State.