Softball to Host No. 9/9 Oklahoma State This Weekend
April 16, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Coming off a non-conference split at Creighton on Thursday, Kansas softball (18-24, 1-8 Big 12) wraps up a busy week of five games in five days when it hosts No. 9/9 Oklahoma State this weekend, April 17-18, at Arrocha Ballpark. The Big 12 Conference series begins on Saturday with a 2 p.m. contest. Sunday the teams meet again at noon.
The first 250 students at Saturday’s game will receive a free hot dog. On Sunday, Kansas Athletics will be handing out free KU softball t-shirts while supplies last. It is also Rock Chalk Rewards double points day.
Live stats for both games will be available via Gametracker on the KU Athletics website at www.KUAthletics.com/softball.
Junior Allie Clark hit the game-winning home run in Thursday’s nightcap at Creighton to help KU split its doubleheader with the Bluejays and improve its record to 18-24 overall (1-8 Big 12) heading into its weekend series with Oklahoma State. Offensively, KU’s top four hitters are freshmen led by Rosie Hull’s .384 batting average. Junior Brittany Hile has batted in a team-high 23 RBIs. Since Big 12 play, freshman Maggie Hull leads the Jayhawks hitting .261. Sophomore Marissa Ingle has played in five conference games and owns a .273 average. In the pitching circle, junior Allie Clark has emerged as Kansas’ top hurler. She has a team-best 3.65 ERA and 55 strikeouts and recorded KU’s last two wins.
Scouting No. 9/9 Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State is riding an incredible 14-game winning streak and is 37-7 overall, including 7-0 in the Big 12 to sit atop the league standings. Freshman pitcher Kat Espinosa is a large reason for the Cowgirls’ success, as she has thrown 40-consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. She is 16-3 on the season with a 1.20 ERA, second in the Big 12. As a team, OSU leads the conference with a 1.69 ERA. Offensively, junior third baseman Mariah Gearhart is hitting a team-best .402, 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 124-87 in his fourth season of coaching, all at OSU. The Cowgirls made a postseason appearance in 2009 going 36-22 and return 14 letterwinners from that squad.
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.
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 in Lawrence.