🥎 Jayhawks Head South for Big 12 Series Against Houston

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks (19-8-1, 4-2 Big 12) travels to Texas to take on Big 12 newcomer Houston (19-9, 2-4 Big 12) in a three-game series from March 22-24 at Cougar Softball Stadium. This series marks the third Big 12 series for the Jayhawks this season.

Last week, Kansas started its hot streak with a doubleheader sweep against in-state foe Wichita State, winning 6-3 and 6-5 in eight innings. The Jayhawks kept their momentum through the weekend, as they went on to sweep No. 19/13 Baylor in a three-game series, in which they allowed just two runs in three games.

Kansas is receiving votes in both the NFCA coaches poll and the USA Softball poll, while earning a No. 20 ranking in the latest Softball America poll. Kansas earned an RPI ranking of 26 this week. The Jayhawks’ most notable wins this season are at No. 18/17 Teas A&M, when KU handed the Aggies their first loss of the season, and No. 19/13 Baylor (three times). Kansas has won 16 of its last 19 games, with its only two losses in that stretch coming against UCF in KU’s first Big 12 Conference series of the weekend.

Sophomores Presley Limbaugh, Aynslee Linduff, Campbell Bagshaw and Hailey Cripe hold four of the top-five batting averages on the team. Limbaugh leads the team with an average of .449 and an on-base percentage of .542. Cripe leads the squad with seven doubles and 26 hits, including her first career grand slam at Belmont on March 2. Bagshaw has come into her own this season after only seeing a few innings last season. She has solidified herself in the starting lineup and has amassed a batting average of .329, the second-best on the team. Bagshaw hit her first home run, a grand slam, against Wichita State on March 12 and hit her second career home run in the very next game against Baylor that propelled Kansas to the victory.

This season, Kansas has been led by its stellar pitching staff, specifically left-handed pitcher Kasey Hamilton and right-hander Katie Brooks. Hamilton has had a successful start to her 2024 campaign. After getting tough matchups to start the season, Hamilton has bounced back with five shutouts and has thrown 11 complete games so far this season. She leads the team with 62 strikeouts in 87.1 innings pitched. Her five shutouts lead the Big 12 and rank tied for fifth in the nation. This season, she has allowed 33 runs and an opponent batting average of .211.

Backing her up is Brooks, who is in her junior season. Brooks has earned a 9-2 record in 70.0 innings pitched. One of her bests performances came against UTSA on Feb. 23, when she struck out 10 batters in just five innings of action. She has the best ERA (1.90) among qualified pitchers and has struck out 51 batters in 70.0 innings pitched. After picking up three wins against Wichita State and Baylor, Brooks was selected as the D1Softball National Pitcher of the Week (3/19).

The Jayhawks and the Cougars will meet in Houston for the fourth time, with Houston holding a 2-1 overall advantage. Kansas won the last meeting 4-3 on February 13, 2010, in Houston. 

Fans can catch every pitch via Big 12 NOW on ESPN+, or can follow along live statistics for play-by-play action. Fans are also encouraged to follow the official Kansas X Account for live updates throughout each contest.

Kansas will take the short trip to the Urban Youth Academy to meet Kansas City in a midweek game on March 26 at 5 p.m. Last season, the Jayhawks earned a 2-0 record over the Roos.