🥎 Kansas Hosts No. 1 Texas For Three-Game Series

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks (27-14-1, 11-7 Big 12) are back at home and play host to No. 1 Texas (35-6, 14-4 Big 12) in a three-game series from April 19-21 at Arrocha Ballpark. This is the second time this season Kansas has hosted the No. 1 team in the country and KU’s seventh conference series of the season.

Last week, Kansas fell to Texas Tech 2-1 in  a three-game series in Lubbock, Texas. All three games were close, as the biggest margin of victory was three runs. Kansas lost the series opener 6-5, before defeating the Red Raiders 15-12 in eight innings. The 15 runs scored by the Jayhawks were the most in a conference game since 1978, when KU defeated Kansas State 15-0. That also gave Kansas its 11th conference win of the season, which is the most since the program won 11 in 1997. In its midweek matchup at Missouri State, Kansas run-ruled the Bears in six innings with a shutout 9-0 win. 

This season, Kansas has been teetering in the polls, as they have been ranked in all polls this season. This week, Kansas is receiving votes in the NFCA coaches poll after its weekend at Texas Tech. Its highest ranking this season came on March 26, when KU was ranked No. 18 in the Softball America poll, No. 21 in the D1Softball.com poll and No. 24 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. 

Sophomores Presley Limbaugh, Campbell Bagshaw and Hailey Cripe hold three of the top-four batting averages on the team. Limbaugh leads the team with an average of .368, which sits just outside the top-10 on the all-time single season list. Cripe leads the squad with 10 doubles, 38 hits and 32 RBI, including her first career  multi-home run game at Houston on March 22. She has hit two grand slams this season, most recently at Iowa State, and has the second-most home runs on the team. Defensively, Cripe holds down the left side of the infield as the shortstop as she leads the team with 85 defensive assists. 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 .313. She 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. She scored Kansas’ lone run against Oklahoma on March 28 with a solo blast to right center to put her total at three home runs.

Lyric Moore has also had a stellar season, as she has already topped her home run total from a year ago with six and ranks tied for first in the Big 12 with 10 runners caught stealing. She has led the way in conference play this season, as she has amassed a .365 batting average in 52 at-bats, along with three home runs and eight RBI.

This season, Kansas has been led by its stellar pitching staff, specifically left-handed pitcher Kasey Hamilton and right-hander Katie Brooks. Hamilton has earned six shutouts and has thrown 17 complete games, the third-most in the NCAA and most in the Big 12 in 21 starts this season. Hamilton leads the team with 82 strikeouts in 137.1 innings pitched, the most in the Big 12. Her six shutouts lead the Big 12 and rank ninth in the nation. This season, she has allowed 58 earned runs and an opponent batting average of .231. In her junior season, Brooks has earned a 12-3 record in 95.0 innings pitched. One of her best performances came against UTSA on Feb. 23, when she struck out 10 batters in just five innings of action. She has the best ERA (2.65) among qualified pitchers and has struck out 60 batters while allowing just four home runs this season, second-least in the Big 12. After picking up three wins against Wichita State and Baylor, Brooks was selected as the D1Softball National Pitcher of the Week (3/19).

Kansas and Texas have met 64 times all time as the Longhorns currently hold a 50-14 advantage. Last season, Kansas won the first game of the three-game series in Austin, 9-3, and narrowly lost the series after Texas walked it off in the third game of the series. The Jayhawks last won in Lawrence on April 13, 2008, with an 8-1 victory. 

All three games will be streamed via Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Leif Lesac and Cacy Williams on the call. Fans can also follow play-by-play with live statistics and are encouraged to follow the official Kansas Softball X Account for live updates throughout each contest. Friday’s and Saturday’s contest will also feature a radio broadcast via KJHK (90.7 FM). Fans that are wishing to attend the games can purchase tickets here.

Kansas will host its fourth-straight home game as it welcomes the Kansas City Roos to Arrocha Ballpark for a midweek game on Wednesday, April 24, at 5 p.m. CT. Last season, KU beat Kansas City twice, once in Lawrence and once in Kansas City.