Kansas Prepares for Five Games in Five Days

April 13, 2010

LAWRENCE, Kan. –

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A busy week is in store for the University of Kansas softball team as the Jayhawks will play five games in five days. KU will begin the week on Wednesday, April 14 hosting Nebraska for a single game at 5 p.m. The next day, Kansas travels to Creighton for a 3 p.m. doubleheader. The Jayhawks then return home for a weekend series versus No. 9/9 Oklahoma State, April 17-18.

Live stats for all games will be available via Gametracker on the KU Athletics website at www.KUAthletics.com/softball. On Wednesday, fans can listen to Nebraska’s live radio broadcast at www.Huskers.com and Oklahoma State will broadcast the KU-OSU weekend series on www.OKState.com.

About Kansas

Fresh off its first Big 12 Conference victory and first win over a ranked opponent this season, Kansas is 17-22 overall and 1-7 in the league. The Jayhawks are led offensively by freshman Rosie Hull’s .386 batting average, which ranks seventh in the Big 12. She has seven hits over the last seven games. Fellow freshman Alex Jones is close behind hitting .344. Junior Brittany Hile has batted in a team-high 23 runs. In the pitching circle, Jones owns a team-best 3.90 ERA. Senior Sara Vertelka has seen the most innings at pitcher and has six wins to go along with a team-high 52 strikeouts.

Scouting Nebraska

Nebraska swept Texas Tech last weekend to extend a four-game winning streak and brings a 24-17 (3-3 Big 12) record to Lawrence. Through all games, sophomore catcher Ashley Guile paces the Huskers with a .378 batting average and has batted in a team-high 32 runs. Her .517 on base percentage ranks third in the Big 12. Nebraska junior infielder Heidi Foland shares the conference lead with 52 hits. In the pitching circle, junior Robin Mackin owns a 1.91 ERA. Sophomore Ashley Hagemann has a team-best 1.47 ERA in Big 12 games.

Nebraska is guided by head coach Rhonda Revelle, who is 674-359 in her 18th season at NU and 682-555 in her 19th year overall. The Huskers return 12 letterwinners from their 35-19 regional team in 2009.

Series Info: KU owns a 51-47 edge over Nebraska in the all-time series, including a 17-13 advantage in Lawrence. The teams have split the last three regular-season series. KU won the second game of a doubleheader with the Huskers last season to snap a five-game skid in Lawrence versus NU.

Scouting Creighton

Coming off a three-game sweep at Wichita State, Creighton has won five of its last six contests and is 19-17 overall on the season, including 14-12 in non-conference games. Senior first baseman Renae Sinkler leads the Bluejays with a .368 batting average, 35 hits, 34 RBIs, 25 walks and 14 home runs. The three-person bullpen is led by senior Tara Oltman (16-8), who owns a 1.51 ERA. She has 156 strikeouts in 143.2 innings and limits opponents to a .194 batting average.

Brent Vigness is in his 17th season as head coach at Creighton with a 516-352-2 record. The Bluejays finished 35-16 last season and won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season. Twelve letterwinners return from a year ago.

Series Info: The Jayhawks lead the all-time series with Creighton 41-23-1, including a 13-7 mark in Omaha. The Bluejays swept last year’s doubleheader in Lawrence. KU is 4-4 in its last eight contests at Creighton.

Scouting No.9/9 Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State is riding an incredible 13-game winning streak and is 36-7 overall, including 7-0 in the Big 12, but will make a stop at Tulsa on Wednesday before heading to Lawrence. Freshman pitcher Kat Espinosa is a large reason for the Cowgirls’ success, as she has thrown 36-consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. She is 15-3 on the season with a 1.24 ERA, third in the Big 12. Offensively, junior third baseman Mariah Gearhart is hitting a team-best .403 while sophomore first baseman Julie Ward has 47 RBIs. In Big 12 games, sophomore shortstop Chelsea Garcia has led the team with a .444 average.

Oklahoma State head coach Rich Wieligman is 123-87 in his fourth season of coaching, all at OSU. The Cowgirls made a postseason appearance in 2009 going 36-22 and return 14 letterwinners.

Series Info: Oklahoma State owns a 59-37 lead in the all-time softball series with Kansas. The Jayhawks were swept by the Cowgirls in last year’s Big 12 opener in Stillwater. The teams have split the last four series in Lawrence, where KU is 8-18 all-time versus OSU.

Up Next

Kansas will have a four-day break before traveling to Nebraska on Thursday, April 22 for a single game at 5 p.m. The Jayhawks then welcome Texas Tech April 24-25 for a two-game series.