'Hawks and Shockers Meet On Wednesday
April 30, 2007
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
First Pitch<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas’ (32-11-1, 7-9 Big 12) mid-week slate of games will pit in-state rival WichitaState (32-26, 16-8 MVC) against the Jayhawks in an evening double header on Wednesday, May 2, with the first game scheduled for 5 p.m. The double header will be the last regular season non-conference games for the Jayhawks, who will close out the regular season this weekend at Iowa State (22-39, 1-15 Big 12).
The Jayhawks return 10 letterwinners from last year’s Big 12 postseason championship team, including All-Big 12 senior pitcher Kassie Humphreys (18-11). Sophomore shortstop Stevie Crisosto leads the Jayhawk attack with a .310 batting average. Head coach Tracy Bunge is in her 11th season at KU with a 350-290-2 record.
Jayhawks to FaceWichitaState
Wichita State will provide KU with its final non-conference tune-up before heading into the postseason. The teams last met on May 3, 2006 with the Jayhawks coming out on top with a 2-1 victory. Prior to that win, however, WichitaState had recorded six victories in seven contests. Kansas’ last season sweep of the Shockers came on April 26, 2000, with 8-0 and 3-1 victories. WichitaState, like Kansas, has been playing is currently playing its best softball of the season. The Shockers have won seven of their last eight games and 14 of 16.
Wichita State is a balanced ballclub that features above average pitching and hitting. The Shockers have the 88th best RPI in the nation and possess two victories over ranked opponents (IllinoisState, twice).
The Shocker offense is paced by Britnee Barnett who leads the team with a .346 batting average and 13 doubles. Providing the Shocker power is the versatile Cynthia Verhulst. Verhulst, while leading the team with a .462 on base percentage, leads the team with 12 homers and a .642 slugging percentage. In the circle for WichitaState will be team ace Margo Pruis (20-11). Pruis has a 2.60 ERA and has thrown 17 complete games in 196.1 innings pitched. Another key pitcher for WSU is Ashly Bright (8-10). Bright has a 2.60 ERA in 132.0 innings of work.
Kansas’s victory over No. 3 Oklahoma was the highest ranked opponent it has defeated since knocking off No. 2 Texas on April, 23 2006. It was the Jayhawks’ first shutout victory since defeating No. 11 Texas 2-0 on April 8. Humphreys held Oklahoma to two hits and zero runs, its fewest in Big 12 play this season.
The Jayhawks 13-4 defeat to Oklahoma on Sunday is tied for the most runs Kansas has surrendered in a game this season. Kansas totaled eight hits in the loss, the most since hitting nine against OklahomaState on March 24. Sunday’s game was the final home appearance for seniors Humphreys and Nicole Washburn, who were recognized in a pre-game ceremony.