Jayhawk Softball Travels To Texas For Big 12 Series
April 16, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Kansas softball team heads to No. 24 Texas this weekend April 18-19, for a pair of conference games. First pitch between KU (16-23, 4-6 Big 12) and the Longhorns (32-14, 8-4 Big 12) is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday. The teams will conclude the two-game series on Sunday at noon.
Texas will have a live audio/video stream available for both games. Log onto www.texassports.com and click on the multimedia tab. Then, click the TexasSports.TV link to connect to the Kansas-Texas softball game.
Live stats are available for all 2009 Kansas softball contests online at www.KUAthletics.com, the official website for Kansas Athletics.
Riding its longest win streak of the season at three games, the Kansas softball team is 16-23 on the season and 4-6 in the Big 12 heading into this weekend’s conference series. Senior Val Chapple paces the Kansas offense with a .318 batting average. Her 19 RBIs are behind sophomores Liz Kocon and Allie Clark’s 22 RBIs. Clark leads the team with five home runs and a .535 slugging percentage. Senior Dougie McCaulley is tops on the team during Big 12 play with a .313 batting average. She leads the Jayhawks with 11 stolen bases on the season. 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 87.1 innings in 25 appearances. She has a 2.97 ERA and a 6-7 record.
Texas picked up a Big 12 win over Texas Tech Wednesday to stop a three-game skid as it brings a 32-14 overall record and 8-4 mark in conference action into the weekend. Junior Loryn Johnson is second in the Big 12 with a .423 batting average, while her 60 hits are the most among conference players and her team-high 39 RBIs are fifth-most. Senior Desiree Williams (.318 average) is one of six Longhorns above a .300 average and leads the team with 10 home runs (second in the Big 12) to go along with nine doubles. As a team, Texas is second in the league with a .303 batting average in conference play led by sophomore Brittany Barnhill’s .486 average. Barnhill is also the team’s most tenured pitcher with a 20-9 record and 2.73 ERA. Junior Erin Tresselt has a team-best 2.50 ERA and is 3-2 in 18 appearances. Texas returns 13 letterwinners from its 2008 NCAA Regional team that finished 29-23-2. The Longhorns are guided by 12th year head coach Connie Clark, who is 469-225-3 at UT.
Kansas and Texas did not begin playing each other on the softball diamond until the formation of the Big 12 and UT did not join Big 12 softball until 1997. Since then, Texas leads the all-time series 14-11, including an 8-1 advantage in Austin. The teams have split the series each of the last three seasons.
– KU’s sweep of UMKC on Tuesday night marked the Jayhawks’ first series sweep of the season.
– Kansas’ win over the Kangaroos also extended a three-game winning streak for the Jayhawks, their longest win streak of the season.
– KU has held its last three opponents to two runs or less and four of its last five.
– The Jayhawks have split their last four conference series.
– Kansas has defeated five ranked teams this year, its most top 25 victories since 2006 (seven).
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.
Taking One 13 For the Team
Senior Elle Pottorf has reached base on a hit by pitch 13 times this season passing the KU single season record of nine, which Pottorf set in her freshman season of 2005. For her career, Pottorf has been hit by a pitch 31 times, easily the KU career record.
Kansas will wrap up a three-game road trip at Tulsa on Tuesday, April 21 in a single nonconference game scheduled for 3 p.m. Two days later, the Jayhawks host Drake on April 23 for a 7 p.m. contest at Arrocha Ballpark before welcoming Baylor April 25-26 for a two-game Big 12 series.