🥎 Kansas Kicks off Conference Play at Home Against No. 24/23 Texas

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Softball will begin its Big 12 play this weekend as the Jayhawks host the No. 24/23 ranked Texas Longhorns for the conference opener. 

The teams will play a three-game series from Friday, March 25-Sunday, March 27. First pitch on Friday is set for 6 p.m. CT. The first 250 fans through the gates Friday will receive a Kansas Softball t-shirt. There will also be free pizza for students. 

Saturday’s game against the Longhorns will start at 2 p.m. CT. The first 250 fans will get Kansas pennants. The final game of the series will take place on Sunday at 12 p.m. Sunday marks the first Bark in the Park and FunDay. Four legged fans can join for the game, and kids are welcome to stick around after the game to run the bases. 

The Jayhawks are coming off of a 2-2 weekend at the Rock Chalk Challenge. Texas is coming off of back-to-back wins in the mid-week matchups against Lamar and Texas State. 

Kansas’ performance in the Rock Chalk Challenge was highlighted by sophomore Lyric Moore who went 7-for-14 in the tournament with two doubles and a home run. She is also batting .453 currently, which is good for the third-best average in the conference. Moore has 29 hits this season, which ties junior Ashlyn Anderson for the team lead. 

Anderson continues to make a difference for the team as she leads in a number of categories including RBI (22), home runs (6) and slugging percentage (.738). Her slugging percentage would be good for sixth place in the Kansas record books for highest season slugging by an individual. 

Sophomore Kasey Hamilton has seen the most time in the circle for the Jayhawks with 60.0 innings so far. Katie Brooks is not far behind at 54.0. Hamilton leads with 52 of the team’s 103 strikeouts. Last year, the then-freshman had 59 total strikeouts. 

Texas leads the series between the Big 12 foes 44-13 overall. Texas is currently 23-9-1 on the season and ranked No. 24/23. The Longhorns are coached by Mike White who is in his fourth year with the team and 12th overall. 

This week, Texas’ McKenzie Parker was named Co-Big 12 Player of the week. She went 6-for-12 at the plate last weekend and led the team to victories over Louisiana and LSU as the Longhorns swept both teams. Parker is currently batting .373 with 25 hits through 67 at-bats. She also has 22 RBI which is the second-highest on the Texas roster.

Texas has a number of athletes in the charts for the Big 12. Mia Scott is tied for 9th in batting average (.391), fifth in runs scored (30), tied for third in hits (34) and tied for second in triples (3). Courtney Day ranks ninth in slugging percentage at .762. Janae Jefferson leads the conference with 40 hits and is tied for the top spot with 10 doubles. 

In the circle, Texas’ Estelle Czech leads with a 1.81 ERA. Hailey Dolcini has seen the most time with 72.1 innings under her belt and 89 strikeouts to her credit.