Jayhawks Host No. 13/17 Missouri in Home and Conference Opener Wednesday
March 21, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
After 29-straight games on the road, the University of Kansas softball team (26-3) will make its home debut when it hosts No. 13/17 Missouri (22-3) on Wednesday, March 23 in both team’s Big 12 Conference opener. Overall the Big 12 boasts eight teams ranked in the top 25 making it one of the toughest leagues in the country. Kansas, which is receiving votes, is looking to extend an 11-game win streak and it’s second upset versus a ranked opponent this season.
KU is coming off a 5-0 weekend in which it won the Coastal Carolina Chanticleer Classic, its fifth pre-conference tournament title this season. Just past the halfway mark, the Jayhawks have already passed its win total from 2010. The team has also hit six more home runs (37), stolen 20 more bases (46), scored 19 more runs (200) and collected 13 more RBIs (176) than it did all of last season.
Sophomore Maggie Hull leads the KU offense batting .393 and is second in the Big 12 with 10 doubles. She also has a team-high 30 RBIs along with senior Brittany Hile (.384). Hile ranks sixth in the league with 10 home runs while her .814 slugging percentage is ninth among Big 12 players. In the circle, freshman Kristin Martinez owns a team-best 1.63 ERA and has tossed the most innings with 85.2 innings of work. Senior Allie Clark (2.42 ERA) has not allowed an earned run over her last six outings, a span of 21.0 innings.
Missouri will bring a 19-game winning streak to Lawrence Wednesday along with the conference’s top pitching staff. The Tigers pace the Big 12 Conference with a 1.08 ERA led by Chelsea Thomas’ league-leading 0.42 ERA.