Jayhawk Softball To Take on Tulsa, Drake In Nonconference Play

April 20, 2009


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After just one day since returning from Texas, the Kansas softball team returns to the diamond Tuesday, April 21 for a nonconference doubleheader at Tulsa. The twinbill is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. From there, KU will turn around and host Drake on Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at Arrocha Ballpark.

Fans attending Thursday’s game will receive a free Jayhawk softball t-shirt. It is also youth organization day. Youth organizations (boy/girl scouts, youth teams, etc.) with a game voucher can get into the softball contest for just $3 a person. To receive vouchers for your group, contact Chris Lansdell in marketing at 785-864-7941.

Jayhawks Online

Live stats are available for all 2009 Kansas softball contests online at www.KUAthletics.com, the official website for Kansas Athletics.

About Kansas

Following a pair of Big 12 losses at Texas last weekend, Kansas is 16-25 overall, including a 12-17 nonconference mark, and 4-8 in the Big 12. The Jayhawk offense is led by senior Val Chapple who is batting .319 and riding a four-game hit streak. She has a team-high 10 multi-hit games along with senior Dougie McCaulley (.310 average). Sophomore Allie Clark has provided extra pop in the lineup as she leads the team with five home runs and she and sophomore Liz Kocon both have a team-high 22 RBIs. The KU pitching staff is headed by senior Val George and junior Sarah Vertelka who share the majority of the time from the pitcher’s circle. George has a 2.70 ERA and 9-12 record in 25 appearances. She also has a team-high 141 strikeouts in 135.0 innings of work. Vertelka (3.10 ERA) is 6-8 in 26 appearances spanning 88.0 innings.

Quick Hits

– Kansas has defeated five ranked teams this year, its most top 25 victories since 2006 (seven).

– Drake marks the fifth Missouri Valley Conference opponent faced by the Jayhawks this season.

– KU has 26 hits in its last three nonconference games and three doubles in each of those games.

– The Jayhawks have held three of its last four nonconference opponents to two runs or less.

Player Highlights

– Freshman hurler Sarah Blair earned her first career victory in her second start of the season on April 14 versus UMKC. Blair went four complete innings giving up two runs on five hits.

– Senior Val Chapple averages a .319 batting average on the year but is hitting .367 in nonconference games. She is currently riding a four-game hitting streak.

Allie Clark had a career-high four RBIs in game one against UMKC on April 14. Clark leads the team with 13 extra-base hits, including five home runs, and 22 RBIs on the season. She is batting .375 with runners in scoring position.

– Originally listed as a shortstop for 2009, senior Stevie Crisosto has been playing in the KU outfield as of late. Crisosto started in centerfield during her freshman campaign but moved to the infield for her second and third seasons at KU. She is tied for seventh in the Big 12 with 21 walks this year.

– After starting just 11 games in 2008, sophomore Kolby Fesmire has worked her way into the starting lineup for second half of the 2009 season. Fesmire has been KU’s starting shortstop in the last 12 games. Though she is hitting just .152 this year, Fesmire is batting .278 in her last 10 outings.

Val George suffered her first loss in four outings at Texas on Sunday. She has given up just six runs in her last 24.0 innings of work. Her 141 strikeouts so far this year are sixth-most in the Big 12.

– Junior transfer Alicia Irwin recorded her first hit for the Crimson and Blue versus UMKC with an RBI double in a pinch hit role.

– Junior Amanda Jobe has not struck out in her last 10 at bats, a span of four games.

Dougie McCaulley is averaging a team-best .438 over her last five games and has seven hits in that span. She has struck out just once in her last 24 at bats. McCaulley is also riding a six-game hitting streak in non-Big 12 games. She has a .536 success rate advancing runners and is swinging with a .700 (7-for-10) batting average with runners on third and less than two outs.

– Despite getting off to a slow start in 2009, senior Elle Pottorf has become one of the Jayhawks’ most consistent batters in the second part of the season. Pottorf started the year hitting just .159 but is averaging .308 in the last 14 games. A cluth hitter, Pottorf is 3-for-3 in bases loaded situations this year.

Sara Ramirez has a .286 batting average in the last nine games.

– Junior pitcher Sarah Vertelka notched KU’s first save of the year in the nightcap against UMKC on April 14. Vertelka has given up four hits and two runs in her last 8.2 inning of work and has 11 strikeouts in that time. She is also holding opponents to a .198 batting average with two outs in an inning.

Up Next

Following its nonconference action with Tulsa and Drake, Kansas softball resumes Big 12 play this weekend, April 25-26, when it hosts Baylor at Arrocha Ballpark. KU and the Bears will begin the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. and conclude the weekend on Sunday in a noon contest. Sunday is also senior day for Val Chapple, Stevie Crisosto, Val George, Elle Pottorf and Dougie McCaulley, who will all be honored in a brief ceremony following the game.