🥎 Kansas Travels to Missouri State for Midweek Matchup

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks (26-14-1, 11-7 Big 12) take the short trip to Springfield, Missouri, to face Missouri State (10-27, 6-11 MVC) in a midweek game on Wednesday, April 17, at Killian Sports Complex. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. CT as KU will play in its eighth-straight road game.

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. 

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 .369, which sits just outside the top-10 on the all-time single season list. Cripe leads the squad with 10 doubles, 37 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 84 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 .315. 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.

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 second in the Big 12 with nine 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. After getting tough matchups to start the season, Hamilton has bounced back with six shutouts and has thrown 17 complete games, the second-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 11-3 record in 90.0 innings pitched. One of her best performances came against UTSA on Feb. 23, when she struck out 10 batters in five innings of action. Brooks has the best ERA (2.80) 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 Missouri State have met 85 times all-time as the Jayhawks maintain a 68-17 advantage. Kansas and Missouri State last faced off on February 19, 2022 in College Station, Texas, when KU came away with a, 8-0 victory. In the last 10 meetings, Kansas holds a 7-3 record.

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

Kansas is set to host No. 1 Texas in its seventh Big 12 three-game series of the season from April 19-21. This is the second time the Jayhawks have hosted the No. 1 team in the nation, as Kansas previously hosted No. 1 Oklahoma from March 28-30. Last season, Kansas defeated Texas in the first game of the series, 9-3.