Softball Welcomes Iowa State To Wrap Up Regular Season
May 2, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
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Kansas softball will play host to IowaState this weekend, May 3-4, in both teams’ final regular season match up before the start of the Big 12 Championship. The games are crucial for the Jayhawks, 36-17 overall and 6-10 in the Big 12, who have a chance to earn a first round bye in the conference tournament with a sweep of the Cyclones (27-27, 3-13 Big 12). Game times are set for 1 p.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday. Sunday’s game, in which seniors Amy Farrow, Addy Lucero, Sara Sidebottom and Betsy Wilson will honored following the contest, can be heard live on KLWN Radio (1320 AM) with Alex Dingman calling the action.
The Jayhawks split their final Big 12 road series at Nebraska Wednesday to go to 36-17 and 6-10 in the conference heading into this weekend’s games. Kansas, who is hitting .262 on the year, has picked up its offense lately, hitting .279 in the last eight games and going 6-2 in that time. Senior Betsy Wilson, junior Val Chapple and freshman Brittany Hile have each collected eight hits on a .333 batting average over the past eight contests. Chapple has also added nine RBIs and has a team-high 34 this year. Junior Dougie McCaulley is the team’s most consistent hitter in the lineup. KU’s center fielder has 62 hits in 52 games with a .385 average, second in the conference. Kansas’ bullpen is led by junior Val George who has a 1.93 ERA and has gone 18-9 in 38 appearances. Her 174 strikeouts (166.2 innings tossed) rank in the top five of Big 12 stats. Freshman Allie Clark, who has a 3.17 ERA, has come on strong as of late going 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA in her last three appearances. Sophomore Sarah Vertelka (2.54 ERA, 10-5) also provides support in the circle.
In an all-time series dating back to 1980, Kansas holds a 40-26 advantage with IowaState, including a 15-11 record in games played in Lawrence and 10-4 edge in Big 12 home contests. Last season, the Jayhawks shocked the Cyclones with a 2-1, eight-inning victory in the conference tournament just a week after being swept during regular season play.
Big 12 Standings
This weekend is crucial for Kansas in the Big 12 standings. KU is currently sitting in seventh behind OklahomaState and Texas Tech and has a chance to finish No. 6 in the conference and earn a first round bye at the Big 12 Tournament. If OSU wins both or splits with Texas Tech and KU sweeps, the Jayhawks will finish sixth in the Big 12 and avoid the play-in game.
I Love the 80’s
Kansas has put up some strong offensive numbers so far in 2008 posting some of its best stats in three decades in some cases. KU’s season totals in runs, RBIs and walks are second only to the team’s totals from 1980. In 2008, the Jayhawks have scored 243 runs (324 in 1980), 215 RBIs (271 in 1980) and 152 walks (164 in 1980).
Saturday, May 3
Take a Kid To the Park Day: One free youth ticket for each paid adult ticket.
Sunday, May 4
Youth Organization Day
Senior Day: Kansas seniors Amy Farrow, Addy Lucero, Sara Sidebottom and Betsy Wilson will be honored for their contributions to the KU softball team in a brief ceremony following the game against IowaState.
With a 99-133 all-time record in Big 12 play, Kansas is just one league victory away from reaching the 100-win plateau.
One More To Go…
As the season nears the end, several Jayhawks are dangerously close to breaking into KU’s single-season record list. Freshman Brittany Hile has 11 doubles and needs just one more, while junior Val Chapple and sophomore Amanda Jobe each remain one home run shy of cracking the top 10 with eight round-trippers a piece. Chapple is also one run away from KU’s record list and junior Stevie Crisosto is two runs shy.
Kansas will have a week to prepare for the Big 12 Championship which runs next weekend, May 9-11, in Oklahoma City. If KU finishes seventh to tenth in the conference standings, they will compete in the tournament’s opening round on Friday, May 9, while seeds 1-6 do not play their first contest until Saturday. Visit www.big12sports.com for more tournament information.