Kansas To Host Oklahoma In Jayhawks For a Cure
April 9, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas softball welcomes No. 13/11 Oklahoma this weekend at Arrocha Ballpark for its Jayhawks For a Cure series. Following a split with Nebraska on Wednesday, KU is 13-22 overall and 3-5 in Big 12 play as it prepares to meet its ninth top 25 opponent of the season in the Sooners (30-12, 7-3 Big 12). The Jayhawks and OU are scheduled to play on Friday at 4 p.m. and will wrap up the series in a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday is the Jayhawks For a Cure game. Admission is $3 for fans wearing pink and KU will be accepting donations at the door to benefit Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Center. Ribbons can also be purchased for the honor/memory board for $1 and a silent auction for various items signed by the team will be available.
Prior to the softball game, a 5K Run/1 mile fun walk will take place at 10 a.m. outside of the Burge Union on the KU campus. Student entry fee is $15 and all others are $20. Proceeds from the run will also benefit Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Center.
Live stats are available for all 2009 Kansas softball contests online at www.KUAthletics.com, the official website for Kansas Athletics.
KU recorded its third-straight conference split on Wednesday going 1-1 in a doubleheader against Nebraska as KU is 13-22 overall and 3-5 in Big 12 play heading into its two-game series with the Sooners. During conference play, senior Dougie McCaulley is leading the team with a .321 batting average. For the season, sophomore Liz Kocon is tops on the team averaging .322 followed by McCaulley (.314). Kocon leads the Jayhawks with 21 RBIs, while sophomore Allie Clark has 18 with a team-high five home runs. Kocon has three home runs in her last four outings. Junior Sarah Vertelka leads the KU pitchers with a 2.84 ERA and is 5-5 in 21 appearances. She has a 2.33 ERA in Big 12 play and has split time from the circle with senior Val George, who has a 2.86 ERA on the season and 126 strikeouts in 115.0 innings.
Scouting No. 13/11 Oklahoma
Oklahoma was defeated by Arkansas on Wednesday to stop a three-game win streak for the Sooners as they bring a 30-12, 7-3 Big 12 record into this weekend’s series. Junior preseason All-American Amber Flores is third in the conference with a .418 batting average, and leads the Big 12 with 45 runs scored, 11 home runs and 45 RBIs, as well as a .590 on base percentage and .845 slugging percentage. Senior Samantha Ricketts, also a preseason All-American, is tops in the league with 15 doubles and is batting .343 with 41 RBIs. In Big 12 games, Oklahoma is batting a league-best .337. The OU pitching staff is headed by freshman Allee Allen, who has a 2.35 ERA. She is 14-3 in 14 starts (101.2 innings). Fellow freshman Kirsten Allen has a 2.86 ERA through 88.0 innings. D.J. Mathis rounds out the bullpen with 76.1 innings of work this season, but leads OU with 26.1 innings in conference games. Mathis owns a 3.03 ERA on the season and has struck out 82 of her opponents at the plate. The Sooners bring back 11 letterwinner from a year ago and finished 47-14 in 2008 while making it to the Super Regionals. Patty Gasso is 716-234-2 in her 16th season as head coach at Oklahoma.
Series Info: OU has won the last four meetings and seven of the last nine contests with Kansas to lead the all-time series 42-40. The Jayhawks own an 8-7 record in games played in Lawrence and split the last meeting between the teams at Arrocha Ballpark in 2007 and swept the series at home before that in 2005. In 2006, KU defeated Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship title game.
Late Game Heroics
For the second time in the last week and third time this season, KU came through with the game-winning, walk-off hit. On Wednesday, April 1, junior Amanda Jobe broke a one-all tie with the No. 11 Missouri Tigers with a walk-off home run. One week later, senior Elle Pottorf became the Jayhawks’ hero when her single in the bottom of the seventh versus Nebraska on Wednesday plated two runs, earning Kansas a 2-1 victory over the Huskers. Earlier in the season on Feb. 22, Allie Clark recorded her first RBIs of the season when she batted in two runs against then-No. 10 Cal, including the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs to help KU edge out the Golden Bears.
Pottorf Back on Track
Senior catcher Elle Pottorf has added some much needed pop to the Kansas lineup in the last couple of weeks. In the Jayhawks’ last eight games, Pottorf has nine hits and is batting a team-high .409 with a .480 on base percentage. She is also responsible for KU’s win versus Nebraska on Wednesday thanks to her walk-off single that brought in two KU runners.
Kansas will take a break from conference play when its hosts UMKC on Tuesday, April 14 for a doubleheader at Arrocha Ballpark. The games are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. The Jayhawks then head to Texas April 18-19 to resume Big 12 action.