Softball Breaks From Conference Action to Host UMKC Tuesday
April 13, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas softball will wrap up a six-game homestand Tuesday, April 14 when the Jayhawks (14-23, 4-6 Big 12) take a break from conference action to host UMKC (14-27, 4-11 Summit) in a pair of night games at Arrocha Ballpark starting at 5 p.m.
Fans who wear blue to the game will receive free popcorn, while members of the military, police, and fire and rescue, as well as teachers, can get into the game for just $3.
Live stats are available for all 2009 Kansas softball contests online at www.KUAthletics.com, the official website for Kansas Athletics.
The Jayhawks are coming off their fourth-straight Big 12 series split with No. 13/11 Oklahoma and stand at 14-23 overall and 4-6 in conference play. KU’s win over the ranked Sooners marked the team’s fifth victory over a top 25 foe this season. Senior Val Chapple paces the Kansas offense with a .308 batting average. Her 17 RBIs are behind only sophomore Liz Kocon’s team-high 21 and sophomore Allie Clark’s 18 RBIs. Clark leads the team with five home runs and a .519 slugging percentage. Senior Dougie McCaulley’s .292 batting average is second on the squad and she leads the Jayhawks with 10 stolen bases. The KU bullpen is led by senior Val George, who has a 2.71 ERA through 129.0 innings of work. She is 9-11 through 24 appearances and she has thrown 137 strikeouts, which is fourth in the Big 12. Junior Sarah Vertelka is the second-longest tenure hurler for the Jayhawks, tossing 79.1 innings in 23 appearances. She has a 3.26 ERA and a 5-7 record.
After finishing just 8-31 in 2008, the Kangaroos have nearly doubled their win total from a year ago as they are 14-2 so far this season and recently went 3-1 in the Dakota’s Round Robin Tournament last weekend. Freshman Betsy Hanley leads the Kangaroos with a .336 batting average. Her 41 hits are second only to Kelly Fischer’s 42. Fisher, a freshman who is the only player to have started all 31 contests for the `Roos this season, is batting .307 and leads the team with nine stolen bases. Carli Slagle (.287) has batted in a team-high 20 runs. Taya Upkes leads the UMKC pitching staff with a 2.46 ERA in 42.2 innings. Senior Samantha Hurst has seen the most time from the circle tossing 105.2 innings and tallying 95 strikeouts. She is 5-13 with a 3.58 ERA. UMKC is guided by third year head coach Meredith Smith, who is 26-104 with the Kangaroos.
UMKC has defeated Kansas just once in a series dating back to 1988. KU owns a 22-1 record versus the Kangaroos with its only loss a 2-1 defeat in 2002. Last season, the Jayhawks won by scores of 10-2 (six innings) and 7-0.
Jayhawks For a Cure Donations
Kansas softball will still be accepting donations for Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Center through the end of this week. The donations are part of KU’s Jayhawks For a Cure, in which KU athletic teams raise money to support the fight against breast cancer. Last weekend, the Kansas softball team helped raise over $1,700 during its softball game with Oklahoma.
Jobe Is Key
A number of factors go into a loss but the Jayhawks have found a pretty good indicator as far as offense goes. In games lost, junior Amanda Jobe has a .119 batting average. However, in games won Jobe leads the team with a .378 average. Kansas has won just two times when Jobe has batted under .250 in a game and once when she has batted under .200.
George Getting It Done
Senior hurler Val George earned her fourth win over a ranked opponent this season with Saturday’s win over No. 13 Oklahoma. George allowed just six hits in her complete game outing and struck out seven batters. She has allowed just four earned runs in her last three outings, a span of 18 innings. The Sooners, who led the league with a .337 batting average prior to its series with Kansas, were limited to a .264 average by the KU pitching staff and now rank third in the league with a .298 team batting average.
The Jayhawks resume conference play this weekend, April 18-19, when they head to Texas for a two-game Big 12 series. KU and Texas are scheduled to play at 1 p.m. on Saturday then again at noon on Sunday. Kansas will wrap up a three-game road trip at Tulsa on Tuesday, April 21.