Jayhawk Softball To Host Western Illinois Tuesday
March 15, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
In its last nonconference action before Big 12 Conference games begin, the Kansas softball team (9-14 overall) welcomes Western Illinois (7-10) Tuesday, March 17 for a single game at 3 p.m. at Arrocha Ballpark.
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 over a week ago on March 6-8 during its KU Invitational. The Jayhawks, whose doubleheader with Missouri State last Thursday was cancelled due to frigid temperatures, finished 2-3 in the KU Invite and are 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 Western Illinois
Western Illinois took a three-game series with UMKC this weekend and made a stop at Wichita State on Monday before making their way to Lawrence. At press time, the Westerwinds were 7-10 overall following its three-game sweep over the Kangaroos to stop an eight-game skid. Michelle Prieto is batting .364 to lead WIU. She is tied with 16 hits along with three other players who are all hitting over .300. Julie DePolo has a team-high nine RBIs and is averaging .308. Ashley Campbell and Colleen Biebel are both batting .348. Three pitchers have seen time from the cirlce led by Lori Pankratz, who has a 2.73 ERA and 2-4 record. She also has 39 strikeouts in 41.0 innings of work. Kamren Ferguson has seen the most time from the circle throwing 47.2 innings. She is 3-5 with a 3.52 ERA. Western Illinois finished 15-33 in 2008 and won the Summit League Tournament to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Western Illinois returns 12 letterwinners and is coached by fourth year head coach Holly Van Vlymen, who is 67-89-1 overall with the Westerwinds.
The softball series between Kansas and Western Illinois dates back to 1990 with KU holding a 6-3 edge over the Westerwinds, though the record is tied in Lawrence at one game a piece. Last year, the teams split 1-1. Prior to that, WIU won in 1999 to snap Kansas’ four-game win streak against the Westerwinds.
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.
Kansas softball will open Big 12 Conference play this weekend March 21-22, when heads to Oklahoma State for a pair of games in Stillwater, Okla. KU and OSU are scheduled to play a 7 p.m. game Saturday night and wrap up the series at 2 p.m. on Sunday.