KU Heads to Texas Tech Looking for an Offensive Explosion
April 20, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas (27-18-1, 3-8 Big 12) returns to the state of Texas this weekend for a two-game series with the Texas Tech Red Raiders (18-21, 1-7 Big 12). First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 with the series-capper at noon on Sunday, April 22. Kansas is 3-1 on the road in Big 12 play, and will look to extend their seven-game win streak over the Red Raiders to nine. 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 All-Big 12 senior pitcher Kassie Humphreys (13-10). Sophomore shortstop Stevie Crisosto leads the Jayhawk attack with a .317 batting average. Head coach Tracy Bunge is in her 11th season at KU with a 345-289-2 record.
Jayhawks on the Road Again
Kansas will be on the road for the next five games, including three key conference tilts. The Jayhawks have found the road, however, to be a comfortable place. KU is 8-4 as a true road team, and 12-5-1 playing at a neutral site. This season KU’s win percentage away from Arrocha Ballpark is .667, compared to the team’s .438 win percentage on its home field.
Kansas will put its strong road resume on the line over the next week, beginning with a trip to Lubbock, Texas. KU has won the last seven games against Texas Tech, and has not yielded more than two runs in a game to the Red Raiders since a 5-1 defeat on May 1, 2003.
Following the weekend series in Texas, KU will head north to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers (34-13, 7-4 Big 12) on Wednesday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. Nebraska defeated KU 3-0 on April 4 in Lawrence.
The Jayhawks will play a double-header the following day, Thursday, April 26, in Omaha against the Creighton Bluejays (28-10, 10-3 MVC). KU swept the Lady `Jays last year 10-5 and 8-0.
About Texas Tech
Texas Tech has struggled through the first half of Big 12 play, but owns impressive victories over Washington, Illinois, Middle Tennessee State and most recently, a 5-0 victory in Ames, Iowa against Iowa State. Texas Tech is a balanced ballclub that boasts a solid .264 batting average and an adequate 3.06 team ERA.
Leading the Red Raider offensive charge is senior Ashley Parker. Parker leads the team with a .377 batting average, tenth best in the Big 12. She also leads the team in hits (49), total bases (59), and runs (30). Aiding Parker in the offensive attack are juniors Jennifer Corkin and Devin Zaragoza. Corkin leads the team with five home runs, six doubles and 17 walks. Corkin is also an excellent fielder, owning a .990 fielding percentage while recording 176 put-outs. Zaragoza bats .339 and is second on the team with 28 runs and 40 base hits.
Slowing down opposing offenses is freshman Ashly Jacobs (13-12) and junior Sarah Losleben (5-8). Jacobs, a freshman ace and one of the conference’s best young players, is third in the league with 26 games started and leads the team with a 2.60 ERA. Jacobs’ running mate, Losleben, holds opponents to a .260 batting average and has pitched five complete games.
Texas A&M and Missouri Leftovers
The four game home stand did not go as planned for the young Jayhawks, but there were some positives. Freshman Amanda Jobe rebounded from a mid-season ankle injury to pick up a three game hit streak, and appeared to have the “bounce” back in her step. Despite the loss, senior pitcher Kassie Humphreys’ last outing was one of her best of the season. Humphreys did not allow an earned run and gave up only four hits and four walks. The Jayhawks struggled at the plate, failing to record a run in its four home games and suffered its worst loss of the season, 13-0, to national powerhouse No. 5 Texas A&M. The Jayhawks were swept by the Missouri Tigers for the first time since the 2004 season. The Mizzou sweep also sealed the 2006-2007 Border Showdown victory for the Tigers.
Freshman Jobe is Impressive in First Year
Freshman first baseman/right fielder Amanda Jobe is leading all Kansas newcomers at the plate with a .301 batting average and 21 walks. Jobe possesses an upperclassmen’s knack for batting, as she leads the team with a .404 on-base percentage. During KU’s recent four-game home losing streak,Jobe was one of the few Jayhawks to have an above-average week. The freshman was three for nine with a double and three walks.
The lefty has proven to be a true utility player, seeing time in right field, at first base and as the designated player. Jobe has also proven to be the Jayhawks’ most steady hand in the field. She has yet to commit an error, while recording 117 put-outs and seven assists.
One of her top performances of the season came against Memphis on Feb. 17, when she went 2-for-2 with her first career home run and a single for two RBI in the Jayhawks’ 5-2 win. Jobe was named to the Sunshine State All-Tournament Team for her efforts.
Humphreys and Washburn Provide Great Senior Leadership
Kassie Humphreys and Nicole Washburn, KU’s only seniors, are providing the leadership needed for Big 12 conference play. The two seniors own the team’s top two batting averages and are responsible for 20% of the Jayhawk runs during Big 12 play. Washburn is batting 70 percentage points higher in conference play than during non-conference play. She also leads the team with 70 put-outs and has committed only one error. Her greatest example of senior leadership came at Oklahoma State when she blasted a home run over the left-field fence to send the game into extra innings. Humphreys, along with Washburn, lead the team with nine hits in conference play. Humphreys is second on the team with a .355 on-base percentage during conference play.
Up Next: KU Hosts Top 5 Oklahoma
Following KU’s five game road excurion will be its final home games of the season against No. 4 Oklahoma (45-5, 10-3 Big 12). The Sooners are the Big 12’s highest ranked team and lead the conference with a .339 batting average–twenty percentage points higher than second-place Baylor. The weekend series against OU will be the last home games for two Jayhawk seniors Kassie Humphreys and Nicole Washburn. Oklahoma will be looking for revenge from the Jayhawks, as KU defeated OU 4-2 in last year’s Big 12 Tournament Championship Game.
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