KU To Host #2 Texas, Celebrate Alumni Weekend

April 21, 2006


Kansas softball wraps up its seven-game home stretch with a Big 12 Conference weekend series against #2 Texas at Arrocha Ballpark. The Jayhawks (26-20, 5-6) and Longhorns (44-4, 10-1) will meet at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and at noon on Sunday. KU brings a five-game win streak into the series while UT has won its last six contests dating back to a 4-2 loss against #16 Texas A&M on April 5. Saturday’s game will be surrounded by many KU Softball Alumni Weekend festivities, including the jersey retirement of Jayhawk All-Americans Sheila Connolly and Camille Spitaleri at 12:15 p.m. An Alumni Game will also be held following the KU-Texas game.

Promotions for the weekend include a Jayhawk water bottle giveaway on Saturday and free popcorn for fans wearing blue as well as a free post-game youth clinic for kids eighth grade and younger on Sunday. Saturday’s contest will be broadcast live on KLWN 1320 with Jud Easterday (play-by-play) and Aaron Clopton (color) calling the action. Live Gametracker is available for all KU games.

No. 2 Texas (44-4, 10-1 Big 12) has won its last six games and is coming off a 6-0 victory over Texas Tech Wednesday in Lubbock, Texas. The Longhorns have suffered just four losses this season — to Arizona (1-0), Texas State (2-1), defending National Champion Michigan (2-0) and most recently to Texas A&M (4-2) on April 5. UT made an appearance in last year’s Women’s College World Series and currently tops the Big 12 with a 10-1 mark in league games.

Senior All-American Cat Osterman (28-1) pitched her second consecutive shutout and sixth one-hitter of the season Wednesday against the Red Raiders, finishing with 15 strikeouts and one hit. Texas Tech recorded its only hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth, breaking Osterman’s streak of 12 consecutive hitless innings. Osterman has denied an opponent from scoring a run in 15 consecutive innings since a home run the sixth against Oklahoma on April 14 in Norman, Okla. Osterman earned her seventh Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honor of the season on Tuesday — the 23rd conference weekly pitching accolade of her career. Osterman leads the nation with a 0.32 ERA and 434 strikeouts in 195 innings this season. Sophomore Megan Denny (16-3) has made 24 appearances in the circle and holds a 1.58 ERA and 185 Ks through 132.2 innings of work. Three Longhorns — Desiree Williams (.378), Tina Boutelle (.322) and Megan Willis (.306) are batting .300 or better this season. Williams paces the offense with 11 home runs and a .740 slugging percentage.

Texas leads the all-time series against KU, 11-8. The Longhorns have won the last two meetings — 4-1, in Austin on March 25, 2005, and 1-0, on May 12 in the Big 12 Tournament opening round in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Kansas will begin a three-game road stint Wednesday (April 26) at #15 Nebraska. The Jayhawks also travel to Norman, Okla., for a Big 12 weekend series with the #21 Sooners April 29-30.

With the Jayhawks’ wins over Creighton on Thursday, KU head coach Tracy Bunge earned her 400th career coaching victory. Bunge also celebrated a milestone victory on April 1, when KU’s win over Oklahoma State marked her 300th victory at the helm of the Kansas program.

Saturday, April 22 vs. Texas
— Jayhawk water bottle giveaway, the “Biggest Group” contest
Sunday, April 23 vs. Texas — Free post-game youth clinic (kids eight grade and younger); free popcorn for fans wearing blue; Family Day (2 adults & 2 youth tickets for $12); after the game children can run the bases and get autographs

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