Kansas Will Look to Rebound Against Rival Mizzou

April 16, 2007


First Pitch
Kansas (27-16-1, 3-6 Big 12) will end their four game home stand with rival Missouri (30-18, 6-1 Big 12) travelling to Arrocha Ballpark for a double header beginning at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18. The softball version of the Border Showdown will have 3 points at stake, but more importantly, will offer the Jayhawks a chance to improve in the Big 12 standings as they push for another bid to the NCAA Regionals. Live Gametracker will be available for both games on kuathletics.com.

The Jayhawks return 10 letterwinners from last year’s Big 12 postseason championship team, including senior All-Big 12 pitcher Kassie Humphreys (13-9). Sophomore shortstop Stevie Crisosto leads the Jayhawk attack with a .331 batting average. Head coach Tracy Bunge is in her 11th season at KU with a 345-287-2 record.

Kansas Quick Hits
-Senior ace Kassie Humphreys (Glendale, Ariz.) is one of the Big 12’s top pitchers. She is 13-9 this season with 162 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .193 batting average in 31 appearances.

-The 2007 Kansas squad consists of five upperclassmen — two seniors and three juniors — and 13 underclassmen — seven sophomores and six freshmen. Of Kansas’ top nine hitters this season, seven are freshmen and sophomores.

-The Jayhawks’ eight newcomers in 2007 are the most since the 2003 season. -Last year, Kansas won its first-ever Big 12 Postseason Championship and advanced to the NCAA Regionals for the second consecutive season.

-KU has made 10 trips to the NCAA Regionals in the last 26 years and has gone four times under head coach Tracy Bunge in the past 10 seasons (most recently in 2006).

About Missouri
After splitting with No. 2 Oklahoma, 5-1 and 3-8, the Missouri Tigers are in second place in the Big 12 with a conference record of 6-1. Missouri leads the all-time series with KU 51-39, but the Jayhawks have won three out of the last five contests, including the last two games played.

Missouri is an offensive juggernaut that uses its .297 batting average to score 5.92 runs per game. The offense is powered by junior Micaela Minner. She has a .382 batting average and is second in the Big 12 with 14 doubles. Minner is not the only Tiger weapon, as three other Tiger starters bat over .300. The most notable on that list is junior Amanda Renth who is tied for second in the Big 12 with 13 home runs and 13th in the league with a .356 batting average.

In the circle, Mizzou had a slow start to the season, but has received fantastic pitching in conference play, led by junior Jen Bruck. Bruck, the team’s ace, has a 3.20 overall ERA, but her ERA is 1.45 in Big 12 play. Bruck is tied for second in conference play with six Big 12 wins.

Border Showdown
Wednesday’s double header does not only have implications for the Big 12 Standings, but also in the Border Showdown. Currently MU holds a 16.0-12.0 advantage over Kansas. The two softball contests are each worth 1.5 points. A Kansas sweep of the Tigers would give KU a chance to win the Border Showdown, as the net total of 39 points quickly evaporate.