Jayhawk Softball Closes Out Regular Season at Iowa State
May 1, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Riding a three-game winning streak and winners in four of its last five contests, the Kansas softball team (21-28, 6-9 Big 12) will travel to Iowa State (23-28, 5-11 Big 12) this weekend, May 2-3, in its final regular season games of the 2009 season. The Jayhawks and Cyclones will play on Saturday at 2 p.m. and conclude the regular season at noon on Sunday.
Live stats are available for all 2009 Kansas softball contests online at www.KUAthletics.com, the official website for Kansas Athletics.
The Kansas offense is led by senior Dougie McCaulley who has a .318 batting average and 14 stolen bases. She leads the team with 14 multi-hit games. Allie Clark (.261 average) has a team-high 10 home runs, nine doubles and 30 RBIs. She has four homers in her last five games and ranks eighth in the Big 12 with a .600 slugging percentage.
In the pitcher’s circle, senior Val George and junior Sarah Vertelka have combined for a majority of the pitching load. George leads the team with a 2.62 earned run average. She is 10-14 in 33 appearances and is tied for third in the Big 12 with 170 strikeouts. Vertelka has gone 9-9 in 31 appearances and owns a 3.16 ERA.
Scouting Iowa State
Iowa State has split its last four conference series, including its series with No. 10 Missouri, to take a 23-28 overall mark and 5-11 Big 12 record into the regular season final this weekend. Junior Courtney Wray is batting a team-best .301. Junior Alex Johnson (.255 average) has driven in the Big 12’s 10th-most RbIs with 35 and has a team-high six home runs. Carleigh Berry, a sophomore, ranks seventh in the conference with 17 stolen bases.
Rachel Zabriskie has pitched all but 88.1 innings for the Cyclones for a league-high 254.1 innings of work. The sophomore owns a 2.45 ERA and 16-23 record. Her 212 strikeouts are second in the Big 12.
KU holds a 41-27 advantage in the all-time series against Iowa State, including a narrow 12-10 edge in Ames. KU won five straight from 2004-06, but the teams have split 3-3 in their last six meetings. The Jayhawks last played in Ames in 2007 and suffered a sweep by the Cyclones.
Kansas is playing some of its best defense of the season as tournament time draws near. KU has held four of its last five opponents to three hits or less as well as three runs or less. The Jayhawks have also committed just one error in the last three games.
Chapple Awarded Senior Athlete of the Year
Softball senior Val Chapple was one of five senior student-athletes honored by Kansas Athletics as a Senior Athlete of the Year Wednesday night at the annual Jayhawk Senior and Scholar Athlete Banquet. The banquet honored its top seniors and scholars for their accomplishments in competition and in the classroom.
Chapple received the award along with Paul Smyth (baseball), James Holt (football), Maria Mayrovich (swimming) and Nickesha Anderson (women’s track & field).
George Closes Out Home Season on High Note
In her final appearance at Arrocha Ballpark, senior Val George tossed a gem of a game ending her home career with a two-hit, complete-game victory over Texas A&M to end a 14-game losing skid versus the Aggies. George held TAMU to one run and one walk while fanning four batters to earn her first win in four decisions from the circle.
The Jayhawks will have a week to prepare for the Big 12 Softball Championship in Oklahoma City, May 8-10. If Kansas finishes as a bottom four seed it will play on Friday. If KU can finish higher than a No. 7 seed, then it will play its first game of the tournament on Saturday.