🥎 Jayhawks Continue Road Trip in Florida

LEESBURG, Fla. – The Kansas Jayhawks continue their Florida road trip as they head to Leesburg to compete in THE Spring Games from Feb. 15-17 at Sleepy Hollow Sports Compex. Kansas will take on UC Riverside and Coastal Carolina, before four Big Ten opponents in Penn State, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio State. After starting the season 5-0, Penn State is currently receiving votes in the most recent NFCA coaches poll (Feb. 13). 

“It’s another big challenge for us this weekend,” said Head Coach Jennifer McFalls. “Every team we’re going to play is really solid and really good. It’s another weekend for us to rebound, coming off of the loss to USF on Monday night. We need to focus on us, the progress that we’re trying to make, the process we’re going through right now and take it one day at a time.”

Last week at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, Kansas went 2-2-1, including a 2-2 tie with Western Kentucky due to a drop-dead rule enforced by a travel curfew. Kansas earned wins over St. John’s (6-1) and Central Arkansas (9-1), while dropping its games against No. 15 Oregon (3-5) and Indiana (1-2). Junior Katie Brooks earned a NFCA All-Tournament Team selection after posting two wins in the circle and leading the Jayhawks with 12 strikeouts. KU also faced off against USF on Monday, February 12 at USF Softball Stadium, where it fell 4-1. 

The sophomore trio of Hailey Cripe, Presley Limbaugh and Aynslee Linduff are leading the way offensivley for Kansas. Cripe and Linduff both have batting averages over the .400 mark, while Limbaugh leads the Big 12 with two triples, which ranks second in the nation. 

Kansas is led by its senior class of eight student-athletes, five of which are regular producers. Of the seniors, left-handed pitcher Kasey Hamilton and catcher Lyric Moore are the standouts. Hamilton has led KU in innings pitched every year since 2021 and led last year’s team with 96 strikeouts. Her best performance came at No. 8 Texas, tossing a complete game, while only allowing the Longhorns three runs off five hits. That was the first win against a top-10 Big 12 Conference opponent on the road since 2002. Hamilton threw complete games on two other occasions last season, leading KU to a 5-0 win over Cal State Fullerton and a 4-3 win over Tulsa. 

Moore enters the new season after being a NFCA All-Region Third Team Selection in 2023, leading KU in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs and total bases. She also earned Big 12 Softball Player of the Week on February 14, 2023. Behind the dish, Moore caught nine runners stealing, which ranked second in the Big 12 last season. 

Kansas is also returning Big 12 All-Freshmen Team selection Lizzy Ludwig, a right-handed pitcher who led KU with an ERA of 2.72 in 67.0 innings pitched and ranked T-3rd in the Big 12 with four saves. In her first career start, Ludwig earned a win over Big 12 opponent Texas Tech, clinching KU’s first conference series victory since 2019. 

Kansas and UC Riverside are tied 1-1 in the all-time series, while Kansas holds a 3-0 advantage over Penn State and a 13-7 lead over Iowa, winning the last eight matchups against the Hawkeyes. Kansas has never beaten Ohio State (0-4), and this will be the first meeting in program history against Illinois. Kansas has played Coastal Carolina once on February 13, 2016, when Kansas came away with a 5-1 win in Jacksonville, Florida.

HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG

Fans can catch the action on FloSports or by following live statistics. Fans are also encouraged to follow the official Kansas Softball X Account for live updates throughout the games.

UP NEXT

Kansas continues on the road as it travels to College Station, Texas, to compete in the Texas A&M Invitational from Feb. 22-25 against UTSA (twice), North Dakota State (twice), and Texas A&M.