Kansas to Wrap-Up Regular Season at Iowa State
May 7, 2013
LAWRENCE, Kan. â€“ Riding the momentum of upsetting No. 1 Oklahoma and in the hunt for their best Big 12 Conference finish since 2001, the Kansas Jayhawks will hit the road to Ames, Iowa to take on the Iowa State Cyclones, May 10-12.
FOLLOW THE HAWKS
A live video stream will be available on the Cyclones.TV tab on Cyclones.com for a subscription fee. 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. Iowa State (Kansas leads, 45-33): The Jayhawks and Cyclones have squared off 78 times in a series that dates back to 1980. KU holds an 18-11 advantage at home, the two teams are tied in Ames, Iowa at 13-13 and KU leads 14-9 on neutral fields. The Jayhawks have won three of the last four meetings, and claimed the 2012 series two games to one.
- Kansas is coming off of one of the most monumental weekends in program history. Facing a No. 1 ranked team for the first time since the 2001 season, KU defeated top-ranked Oklahoma 2-0 on Sunday â€“ marking the first time Kansas has taken down a No. 1 team.
- KU nearly swept the doubleheader as the Jayhawks led, or were tied with, the Sooners for 12.5 innings. Two unearned runs broke up a tied 2-2 game in the top of the seventh, allowing OU to take game one.
- Freshman Kelsey Kessler was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season after shutting out No. 1 Oklahoma for only the second time in 2013.
- The Jayhawks have the opportunity to finish above .500 in Big 12 play for the first time since posting a 9-8 conference record in 2005. KU also holds a half-game lead over Oklahoma State for fourth place in the conference standings, which would be KU’s highest finish since 2001.
- The last time the Jayhawks and Cyclones met, KU won game one (8-2) and game three (8-0, 5 inn.), while Iowa State took the high-scoring game two, 10-9.
- For the 13th-straight week, Kansas leads the Big 12 in batting average as the Jayhawks are hitting .337 as a team. No team other than KU has led the league this year and that mark ranks eighth in the latest NCAA stats (5/6).
- Weather claimed the Jayhawks’ series opener with No. 1 Oklahoma, forcing the teams to shorten their weekend to a Sunday doubleheader. KU has lost five games to weather this season.
- Not only does catcher/designated player Alex Hugo hold the Jayhawks’ freshman home run record â€“ 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 is 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).
- Senior left fielder Maggie Hull enters the final Big 12 series of her career in a perfect position to break multiple records. The Big 12 batting average leader, hitting at a .443 clip entering the weekend, Hull is well on track to break the KU single-season record which she already owns (.409, 2012). She also sits at a program-best .363 career batting average and needs one RBI to become KU’s all-time leader.
- The dynamic duo of Maggie Hull and freshman catcher Alex Hugo rank in the top-four in the Big 12 in batting average. Hull’s .443 mark and Hugo’s .417 clip rank them first and fourth, respectively, among all Big 12 hitters. No. 1 Oklahoma is the only other team with two players ranking in the league’s top five.
- Freshman Kelsey Kessler already has two, top-25 wins to her credit (vs. No. 21/14 Baylor, vs. No. 1 Oklahoma). The only other pitcher to shutout the Sooners this season was also a freshman righty (Nebraska’s Emily Lockman).
- KU’s offense has 247 total RBIs to its credit. One more would tie the team for second-most all-time at KU (248, 2011) with the school-record in reach (271, 1981).
IOWA STATE (21-30, 4-11 Big 12)
Voted to finish seventh in the Big 12 Conference, Iowa State will play Drake on Tuesday evening before hosting the Jayhawks in its final home games of the regular season. The Cyclones swept UMKC on April 29 to snap a seven-game losing streak. Led by eighth-year head coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler, ISU swept Oklahoma State and took one from Texas Tech to earn its four wins in conference play and enters the weekend sitting in sixth place in the Big 12 standings.
Iowa State ranks sixth in the league with a .288 team batting average and started the week just two home runs shy of tying the program’s home run record with 36. The Cyclone offense is led by a mix of veterans and newcomers. Senior first baseman Erica Miller leads the team with a .362 batting average and became the first Cyclone in program history to reach the 50-RBI mark during the UMKC doubleheader.
Meanwhile, freshman Brittany Gomez is behind her at .351 and leads the team with 28 stolen bases. Junior Sarah Hawyluk, a transfer from Western Nebraska Community College, has 26 stolen bases to her credit and is one of four starters hitting above .300. Senior pitcher/third baseman Tori Torrescano broke the ISU home run record last year with 14 bombs and starts the week just one short of tying her own record.
The Cyclones’ potent offense is sometimes offset by their inflated numbers in the circle. As a staff, the ISU pitchers hold a collective 6.21 ERA. Torrescano (11-12) has a team-high 146 innings pitched and 65 strikeouts. The senior right-hander has walked 74 batters. Junior right-hander Taylor Smith (8-10) shares the workload in the circle with 108 innings of work and 14 starts. She has struck out 34 and walked 53.
HEAD COACH Megan Smith
On the strong senior leadership on Iowa State’s team:
â€œI think they have two really special seniors in Erica Miller and Tori Torrescano. They’ve always done extremely well against us. They’ve been some fun players to watch over the past four years and they certainly have helped Iowa State continue to improve.â€
On Iowa State’s ability to score:
â€œIowa State is just one of those teams that is very well balanced, offensively, with speed and power. They do a great job of producing runs against anyone. We just have to know that they’re going to fight all seven innings and they have the ability to put up runs at any point. We have to make sure our pitching is strong, hitting their spots and keeping them off balance.â€
On focusing on the Iowa State series and not letting the OU win define the season:
â€œThe Iowa State series is the most important series for us. I think it’s because we’ve had very good series with them every year that I’ve been here. We have been very evenly matched in back-and-forth close games. We want to finish as high as we can in the Big 12. That’s our only goal right now is to finish as high as we can. We think if we play well in Ames, we hope to finish fourth, and that’s what our goal is.â€
Kansas will learn its postseason fate when the NCAA Selection Shows airs on ESPNU Sunday, May 12, at 9 p.m.
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