Softball Heads To Missouri Wednesday For Border Showdown
April 15, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
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After a brief two-game series at home last weekend, Kansas softball (30-11, 4-4 Big 12) will hit the road again for a six-game road stint beginning at Missouri (37-12, 4-4 Big 12) this Wednesday, April 16. The Jayhawks and Tigers are scheduled to play a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m.
Kansas (30-11, 4-4 Big 12) is coming off its third-straight series split after going 1-1 with Big 12 foe Texas last weekend. Hovering just above the .400 mark, junior Dougie McCaulley has been the team’s most consistent offensive performer as she boasts a .402 batting average, good enough for second in the Big 12, and ranks third in the conference with her team-leading 51 hits. In addition to McCaulley’s steady numbers, senior Betsy Wilson has come on strong for the Jayhawks since the start of Big 12 play hitting a team-best .474 in the last eight games and leading the conference with a .556 average and .619 on-base percentage in Big 12 contests. Wilson is fourth on the team with 18 runs batted in (one of six Jayhawks with over 15 RBIs). Junior third baseman Val Chapple (.322 average) is tops on the team with 25 RBIs and shares a team-best six home runs with sophomore Amanda Jobe. From the circle, the team continues to rank in the top half of the conference. KU is currently third in the Big 12 with a 1.97 team ERA led by junior Val George (1.19 ERA), who is third among conference pitchers. George has compiled 138 strikeouts in 129.2 innings of work and is 16-3 in 25 appearances. She is in the top five in seven Big 12 pitching categories. Sophomore Sarah Vertelka (2.14 ERA) shares the starting nod and is 9-5 in 20 appearances. Freshman Allie Clark (5-3, 3.42 ERA) rounds out the Kansas rotation.
Missouri leads the all-time series with the Jayhawks, 53-39 dating back to 1978. Since 2005, MU has edged KU 4-3, but won seven-straight games prior to that. Kansas has not had a series sweep over the Tigers since 1999.
– Forty-one games into the season, junior pitcher Val George has already tallied 138 strikeouts passing the 137 K’s which she collected during her freshman and sophomore campaigns.
– Junior Dougie McCaulley is second in the Big 12 rankings swinging at a .402 clip. McCaulley has been the team’s most consistent hitter connecting for at least one hit in 30 of the 40 games she has appeared. She has nine hits in the last seven games and has a team-best 16 multi-hit contests, including three times in her last four outings.
– Senior Betsy Wilson has been the team’s biggest offensive threat since the start of Big 12 Conference play. Through eight league games, Wilson leads the league with a .556 average and .619 on-base percentage.
– Kansas reached double-digit hits for the eighth time this season on April 5 at Baylor when KU notched 10 hits in the 6-1 victory.
– KU failed to record a base on balls at BU on April 6, the first time all year the Jayhawks did not get at least one walk in a game and the first time since May 5, 2007, a string of 42-straight games.
– Kansas has not been held scoreless at home this season (15 games) and has at least one RBI in every contest but one at Arrocha in 2008.
Home Streak Snapped
KU’s loss to Texas on April 13 snapped the Jayhawks’ 10-game winning streak at home, its longest winning streak in Lawrence since winning 12-straight games in 1991.
For the fifth consecutive season and 10th time under coach Tracy Bunge, Kansas softball has reached the 30-win mark, hitting the big 3-0 against Texas on April 13. It is also the 24th time in KU softball history that a team has notched at least 30 wins in a single season.
Jayhawk softball continues a six-game road swing into this weekend at Big 12 opponent and nationally ranked Texas A&M, April 19-20. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. and Sunday is set to begin at noon. Kansas will then travel to in-state foe UMKC Tuesday, April 22 for a doubleheader. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. with the Kangaroos.