🥎 No. 24 Kansas Hosts No. 1 Oklahoma in Three-Game Series

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 24 Kansas Jayhawks (22-8-1, 7-2 Big 12) host No. 1 Oklahoma (31-1, 9-0 Big 12) in a three-game series starting Thursday, March 28, to Saturday, March 30, at Arrocha Ballpark. First pitch for Thursday and Friday are set for 5 p.m. CT, with Saturday’s action starting at 12 p.m. 

Last week, Kansas extended its conference winning streak to seven games with a sweep at Houston. Before that, the Jayhawks swept No. 13 Baylor March 15-17 at Arrocha Ballpark for the program’s first sweep in a three-game series against a ranked conference opponent all-time.

Kansas has earned national rankings in three polls this week, as KU is ranked No. 18 in the Softball America poll, No. 21 in the D1Softball poll and No. 24 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. The Jayhawks are also receiving votes in the NFCA coaches poll. Kansas earned an RPI ranking of 27 this week, with its most notable wins this season 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 19 of its last 22 games, with its only two losses in that stretch coming at UCF, in KU’s first Big 12 Conference series of the weekend, and No. 16 Missouri. 

Sophomores Presley Limbaugh, Campbell Bagshaw and Hailey Cripe hold the top-three 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 29 hits, including her first career  multi-home run game at Houston on March 22 and her first 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 .317. 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.

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 13 complete games so far this season. Hamilton leads the team with 71 strikeouts in a league-best 101.1 innings pitched. Her five shutouts lead the Big 12 and rank tied for seventh in the nation. This season, she has allowed 33 runs and an opponent batting average of .207.

Brooks has earned a 10-2 record in 74.0 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 (1.89) among qualified pitchers and has struck out 53 batters in 74.0 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).

The Jayhawks and the Sooners have faced off 120 times since 1978. Kansas last got a win on April 2, 2016, when KU topped OU 5-2 in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma holds a 77-43 overall advantage in the series.

All three games will be streamed via Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Leif Lisec and Cacy Williams on the call. Friday and Saturday’s matchups will also be available to listen to via KJHK on 90.7 FM. 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. Tickets for all three games are sold out, but students can still enter with a valid KU student ID for standing room only.

The Jayhawks will head north to take on Nebraska in a midweek contest at Bowlin Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska on Tuesday, April 2 at 5 p.m. CT. Last season, Kansas defeated the Huskers 6-4 in Lawrence.