Softball Hosts Texas Tech In Big 12 Home Opener Saturday
March 28, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
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Kansas softball will host Texas Tech in a doubleheader this Saturday in the Jayhawks’ Big 12 Conference home opener. Softball action between KU (25-8, 0-2 Big 12) and the Red Raiders (9-25, 1-2 Big 12) will start at 1 p.m. The series was originally scheduled for games on Saturday and Sunday, but a stormy Sunday forecast for has pushed both games to Saturday.
Looking for its first conference win of 2008, Kansas is 25-8 overall and 0-2 in Big 12 play after dropping a two-game series at Oklahoma in last weekend’s conference opener. Junior Dougie McCaulley is second in the conference with a .408 average and is just one of five conference players hitting above the .400 mark. She leads KU with 42 hits (third in the conference), including seven doubles, and has brought in 13 runs. Fellow junior Val Chapple is also at the top of the Jayhawks’ offensive stats hitting at a .340 clip with a team-high 21 RBIs and six home runs. She has also scored 24 runs for KU. Four other Jayhawks contribute double digit RBIs including Brittany Hile (18), Amanda Jobe (14) and Betsy Wilson and Stevie Crisosto, who have each batted in 12 runs a piece. Crisosto also ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 21 walks so far this season and shares the team lead of five stolen bases with Chapple. In the bullpen, KU’s 1.84 team ERA is fourth among Big 12 teams and 49th-best in the country. Junior Val George leads the Jayhawks with a 1.24 ERA, fourth among Big 12 pitchers. She has tossed 96.1 innings and notched 106 K’s, while going 12-2 in 14 appearances. George limits batters to a .183 average, also good enough for fourth in the conference. Sophomore Sarah Vertelka has gone 74.0 innings from the circle and is 7-4 with a 1.89 ERA – 11th in Big 12 rankings. Freshman Allie Clark rounds out the Kansas bullpen with a 5-2 record and 2.92 ERA.
Kansas leads the Red Raiders 22-10 in a series that dates back to 1984. The Jayhawks have claimed the last nine meetings with Texas Tech and 13 of the last 15. KU also owns a 7-3 advantage in games played in Lawrence and has not lost at home to the Red Raiders since April 9, 2000.
George’s Double Digit K’s
For the second time this year, junior pitcher Val George has hit the double digit mark in strikeouts. In the first game against MissouriState on March 26, George notched 10 K’s for the second time this season and third time in her career tying a career best.
Jayhawks In the NCAA Rankings
In the first release of NCAA statistics released March 23, Kansas found itself ranked in the nation’s top 50 in three categories — ERA (49th, 1.88), fielding percentage (27th, .973) and win/loss percentage (25th, .742). In individual rankings, KU pitcher Val George was 44th in the country with a 1.18 ERA.
With a 93-123 all-time record in Big 12 play, Kansas is just seven league victories away from reaching the 100-win plateau.
The Jayhawks head to Creighton next Wednesday, April 2, in the start of a six-game road trip. KU’s doubleheader against the Bluejays is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. From there, Kansas travels to Waco, Texas for a two-game series with Big 12 opponent Baylor, April 5-6. First pitch on Saturday is set for 2 p.m., while Sunday’s contest will start at Noon.