🥎 Kansas Hosts No. 15/16 Missouri Wednesday Night

LAWRENCE, Kan. The Kansas Jayhawks (19-7-1, 4-2 Big 12) will host longtime rival No. 15/16 Missouri (22-6, 2-4 SEC) in the annual Border Showdown at Arrocha Ballpark on Wednesday, March 20, with first pitch set for 5 p.m. CT. Kansas is currently on a six-game winning streak and unbeaten with a 6-0 record at home 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 Jayhawk’s 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 18 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 25 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 .319. 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 61 strikeouts in 85.1 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 .215.

Backing her up is Brooks, who is in her junior season. Brooks has earned a 9-1 record in 66.0 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 (1.70) on the team and has struck out 51 batters in 66.0 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).

Kansas and Missouri have met 112 times throughout each program’s history. The two squads started to play each other once every season, alternating home and away matchups, with its first in 2021. Kansas won the first two before dropping the most recent matchup 4-3 in Columbia, Missouri. 

HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
Fans can catch all the action via Big 12 NOW on ESPN+, or listen live with KJHK on 90.7 FM. Fans can also follow along live statistics for play-by-play action and are encouraged to follow the official Kansas Softball X Account for live updates throughout the contest.

PROMOTIONS
Celebrate Discounted Beverage Night with a special Kansas Softball Stadium Cup as fans enter Arrocha Ballpark.

UP NEXT
Kansas will travel to Houston to face off against the Cougars in its third Big 12 Conference three-game series of the season from March 22-24 at Cougar Softball Stadium. Kansas currently holds a 4-1 Big 12 record, while Houston boasts a 2-4 record after beating Texas and Iowa State once.