Jayhawks Travel To No. 4 Texas A&M This Weekend

April 18, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. –

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Kansas softball, 30-13 overall and 4-6 in the Big 12, will look to rebound from a sweep at Missouri with a two-game series at No. 4 Texas A&M (40-7, 12-1 Big 12) this weekend to wrap up a six-game road stint. Saturday the team’s will square off at 2 p.m., while Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for noon.

About Kansas

After dropping a pair of games at Border Showdown rival Missouri last Wednesday, Kansas, who is 30-13 overall and 4-6 in Big 12 play, is riding its longest losing streak of the season at three games. The Jayhawks are led by junior Dougie McCaulley, who has been the team’s most consistent offensive performer as she boasts a .409 batting average, one point shy of the Big 12 leader. In addition to McCaulley’s steady numbers, sophomore Amanda Jobe has been an important component to the KU lineup. KU’s first baseman has hit .304 in her last eight outings with the help of three homers and nine RBIs for a .739 slugging percentage. Junior third baseman Val Chapple (.322 average) is tops on the team with 25 RBIs, one of three players with 20 or more runs batted in. From the circle, KU is led by junior Val George who is fourth among conference pitchers with a 1.45 ERA. George has compiled 143 strikeouts in 135.1 innings of work and is 16-5 in 31 appearances, including all 10 of the team’s Big 12 contests so far, a league best. She is in the top five of seven Big 12 pitching categories. Sophomore Sarah Vertelka (2.39 ERA) shares the starting nod and is 9-5 in 21 appearances, while freshman Allie Clark (5-3, 3.33 ERA) also sees time from the circle.

Series History

Kansas trails in the all-time series with Texas A&M, 42-20, dating back to the first meeting in 1978. TAMU has won the last 12 contests with the Jayhawks, a streak that began on April 6, 2002.

Player Notables

– Freshman Allie Clark had two strong outings at Missouri on April 16. She went 4.1 innings in the nightcap, her longest outing since completing the same on March 9, and fanned five batters, one shy of her career high and the most since striking out five on March 2.

– Sophomore Amanda Jobe has batted in a team second-best 23 runs, including 19 in road contests. Jobe is averaging .275 on the season but is batting .600 with runners on third and has a .524 success rate of advancing runners.

– Jobe tallied two home runs in the nightcap at Missouri on April 16 marking the third time this season that a Jayhawk has recorded multiple round-trippers in a game.

– Junior Dougie McCaulley is second in the Big 12 rankings swinging at a .409 clip, just one point shy of the league’s leader. McCaulley has been the team’s most consistent hitter connecting for at least one hit in 32 of the 42 games she has appeared. Riding a team-best four-game hitting streak, she has seven hits in her last four outings and has a team-best 17 multi-hit contests on the year, including three times in the last four contests.

Team Notables

– KU has seven home runs in its last five road games.

– The Jayhawks currently rank fourth in the Big 12 with a combined 2.17 ERA. It is the first time all season the KU pitching staff has had an ERA over 2.00. Two of KU’s pitchers rank in the top 15 of the league standings – Valerie George (4th, 1.45 ERA) and Sarah Vertelka (14th, 2.39 ERA).

– 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 games.

Jobe’s Long Ball

Sophomore Amanda Jobe tallied her seventh and eighth home runs of the season on April 16 at Missouri and is now just one shy of cracking the top 10 in KU’s single-season records. She also moved up to third in KU’s single-season list for homers by a sophomore. She is one shy of current player Elle Pottorf’s second-best mark of nine round-trippers by a second year player.

30-Win Plateau

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.

Up Next

Kansas softball wraps up a six-game road stint at in-state foe UMKC Tuesday, April 22 in a doubleheader. Game time with the Kangaroos is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Jayhawks then return home two days later, April 24, to host WichitaState in a pair of non-conference games beginning at 5 p.m. KU next welcomes OklahomaState that weekend for a two-game Big 12 Conference series.