Kansas, Wichita State Prepare for Midweek Meeting
April 29, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In-state rivals Kansas and Wichita State will meet each other on the softball field for the 22nd-consecutive season when the Jayhawks host the Shockers at Arrocha Ballpark Wednesday at 6 p.m.
AROUND THE BALLPARK
– Dollar Dog Night: $1 hot dogs
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
A live audio stream will be available on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access free of charge. Pete Knutson and former Jayhawk softball player Liz Kocon will have the call. In addition, fans can follow the action on GameTracker, located on the softball schedule page of KUAthletics.com. Live scoring and updates can also be found by following KUSoftball on Twitter.
Vs. Wichita State (Kansas leads, 69-17): Wednesday’s game will mark the 77th meeting between the Jayhawks and Shockers in a series that dates back to 1978. The two schools have faced off each year from then until now with the exception of 1981, 1984 and 1991. The Jayhawks are 36-6 against the Shockers in Lawrence, 29-9 in Wichita and own a 4-2 advantage on neutral fields. KU has won nine of the last 10 meetings with WSU’s most recent win occurring on April 28, 2010 (4-1).
- KU vs. WSU was originally scheduled for Tuesday, April 30, but was moved to Wednesday due to a scheduling conflict. Not an uncommon story, the Jayhawks have canceled three midweek contests already due to weather this season. KU is 2-0 in midweek games.
- For the 12th-straight week, Kansas leads the Big 12 in batting average as the Jayhawks are hitting .344 as a team. No team other than KU has led the league this year and that mark ranks fourth in the latest NCAA stats (4/29).
- Freshman catcher/designated player Alex Hugo has three homers in KU’s last five games. Not only does she hold the Jayhawks’ freshman home run record – her 14 home runs in a season is something that only three other Jayhawks can claim in program history (Serena Settlemier, 22, 2006; Liz Kocon, 14, 2011; Destiny Frankenstein, 14, 2005).
- Senior left fielder Maggie Hull sits tied for the Kansas career RBI crown. One more RBI will break the record currently held by former Jayhawk and current softball color analyst Liz Kocon (135, 2008-12).
- Hull also continues her season-long reign as the Big 12 batting average leader, hitting at a .451 clip entering the week. With seven regular-season games remaining, Hull is well on pace to break her own KU batting average record (.409, 2012).
- If the season ended today, Kansas’ .344 team average would rank first in Big 12 history as the current record is held by Texas Tech (.340, 2011). KU’s best team average is .311, set in 1985.
- The dynamic duo of Maggie Hull and Alex Hugo rank in the top-four in the Big 12 in batting average. Hull’s .451 mark and Hugo’s .424 clip rank them first and fourth, respectively, among all Big 12 hitters. KU, No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 7 Texas are the only teams with more than one player in the top 10.
- Entering the week, KU’s offense has 245 total RBIs to its credit. Three more would tie the team for second-most all-time at KU (248, 2011) with the school record in reach (271, 1981).
- Additionally, Hull, Hugo and sophomore catcher/designated player Maddie Stein enter the week with 40, 44 and 46 RBIs, respectively. The trio marks the first time in program history three different players have recorded 40+ RBIs in the same season.
- KU tied a season-high with three errors in its last time out – a rarity for a team that is tied for the lead in the Big 12 with its .976 fielding percentage, which ranks 12th in the country.
WICHITA STATE (18-29, 9-12 MVC)
Voted to finish eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Poll, Wichita State is led by second-year head coach Kristi Bredbenner. The Shockers head to Lawrence for a Wednesday meeting after a conference make-up game against Missouri State scheduled for Tuesday evening. Bredbenner set up the 2013 schedule to familiarize her team with elite competition as they played then-No. 1 Alabama to a 2-0 loss and squared off against current No. 1 Oklahoma in a doubleheader.
Prior to their meeting with the Bears on Tuesday, the Shockers are hitting .248 as a team with 69 doubles and 29 home runs. Junior centerfielder Erin Carney leads the team with a .299 batting average and .430 slugging percentage, while sophomore catcher Melanie Jaegers has a team-high five homers and 15 stolen bases.
Veterans Katie Armagost (6-17) and Sloan Anderson (12-10) handle nearly all of the workload in the circle. Armagost, a senior right-hander, holds a 3.15 ERA in 171.1 innings pitched. Although she leads the staff with 107 strikeouts, she has also walked 91. Anderson, a junior lefty, has all four of the Shockers’ shutouts. In 129 innings of work, she has walked only 28 batters. Opposing hitters have a collective .296 average against the Shocker staff.
HEAD COACH Megan Smith
On Wichita State’s lineup consisting of veteran and younger players:
“I think they are a good mix. Their record doesn’t indicate how strong of a team they are. They have good pitching, they have some speed in their lineup and a little bit of power too, so definitely a good mix.”
On Wichita State’s head coach Kristi Bredbenner’s progress with the team:
“It’s tough when you take over a team. I know what she has been going through. It takes time to get players in and to get your system put together and to see it start working. Definitely she is a very good coach and it seems like their program is improving year after year with her.”
On the in-state rivalry:
“It is fun and Wichita State has always been a really good softball program historically. It is fun for us to play them and a lot of our players know their players and the parents know the parents, so it’s just a great atmosphere.”
Kansas will welcome the No. 1 team in the country to Arrocha Ballpark when the Jayhawks take on Oklahoma, May 3-4. The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday at 2/4 p.m. and conclude the series on Saturday at noon. Saturday will also be Senior Day, with all four Jayhawk seniors being honored before and after the game.
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