🥎 Jayhawks Head to Phoenix for Season Opener
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Softball team will head to Phoenix, Arizona to open its season at the Grand Canyon Tournament. The tournament starts on Friday and will conclude on Sunday. The Jayhawks will play a total of five games including two on Friday, two on Saturday and one on Sunday.
The Jayhawks open the tournament and their season facing off on Friday against Northern Colorado at 11 a.m. CT. Later that afternoon at 4:30 p.m. CT, Kansas will take on Bradley. On Saturday, the Jayhawks will first play Fordham at 4:30 p.m. CT, followed by host Grand Canyon at 9:15 p.m. CT. They will conclude their tournament weekend with Weber State at 12:20 p.m. CT. The matchup against Grand Canyon will stream live on ESPN Plus.
The Jayhawks have 14 returning players back, including six starters from last year’s roster. Two of the returners, Shelby Gayre and Cheyenne Hornbuckle, were part of a three-way tie for leading the Big 12 in fielding percentage at a perfect 1.000.
In the circle, the Jayhawks return two hurlers, including Kasey Hamilton who led the team in strikeouts with 59. Hamilton was also named to the All-Big12 Freshmen Team at the end of last season. She saw time both in the circle and at the plate. Hamilton had five victories in nine starts, pitched four complete games, including one solo shutout and also recorded two saves.
The Jayhawks also welcome six new players, including five freshmen and one junior transfer. The freshmen include utility players Sara Roszak and Olivia Bruno, infielder Micaela Wark, pitcher and first baseman Katie Brooks and catcher Natalie Marshall. Shayna Espy is an outfielder that transferred from Butler Community College.
The Jayhawks will head to College Station, Texas next weekend to play in the Texas A&M Tournament. Their first game of the weekend is set for Feb. 18 at 11:30 a.m. CT against Stephen F. Austin.