No. 25 Jayhawks Return to Sunshine State for UNF Tourney
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After a 14-1 start to the 2015 campaign, Kansas softball has entered the national polls with a No. 25 ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll. The Jayhawks take their new ranking and travel back to the Sunshine State for the UNF Home Tournament Feb. 27 – March 1. KU will face tournament host North Florida, as well as Stony Brook, South Dakota and Siena, playing five games in three days at the UNF Softball Complex.
FOLLOWING THE JAYHAWKS
Listen to every pitch, home and away, all season long as part of the Jayhawk Radio Network in partnership with KJHK, the University of Kansas’ student radio station. For the first time ever, all of KU’s contests will be carried live, for free, at KUAthletics.com/radio or by clicking the links on the online schedule. Fans can also get in-game updates via twitter by following @KUsoftball.
LEADING OFF FOR KANSAS
- Six Jayhawks are hitting above .300 in 2015 and contributing to KU’s .342 batting average. Sophomore Lily Behrmann and junior Chaley Brickey are hitting over .400 with batting averages of .405 and .404, respectively.
- Kansas’ 12-0 start to 2015 season set a new program record surpassing the 10-0 record to begin the 2011 campaign. The Jayhawks are 14-1 with No. 1 Florida handing KU its lone loss.
- The Jayhawks’ red-hot start to the 2015 campaign has put Kansas on the national radar. Heading into the fourth week of the season, KU earned a No. 25 ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate top-25 and received votes, including a No. 26 ranking, in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll. It marks the first time since 2011 that the Jayhawks have been nationally-ranked and second week in a row to receive votes.
- The Jayhawks have outscored their opponents 108-42 in 15 games, including five shutouts and a no-hitter. KU scores its most runs during the first and third frames after plating 23 and 19 runs, respectively.
- KU has a perfect 11-0 record when scoring first and is also 3-1 when the opposition strikes first.
- After 15 games, the Jayhawks have outhit their opponents 136-71 and own a 11-0 record when outhitting the team in the other dugout.
- Head coach Megan Smith has guided the Jayhawks to an upset over at least one nationally-ranked opponent in each of her five seasons at the helm of Kansas softball. In 2014, KU defeated three ranked foes. Most recently, the Jayhawks were victorious over then-No. 19 Nebraska in the first game of the NCAA Tournament.
- After finishing 2014 with the second-best fielding mark in the nation and only replacing one member of the Jayhawk infield, Kansas continues its trend of being defensively sound. After the first 15 games of the season, KU’s defense has committed only 10 errors in 94 innings for a .974 fielding percentage.
The Jayhawks’ red-hot start continued into the third weekend of the 2015 campaign winning two more games, extending KU’s win streak to 12 and setting a new program record with a 12-0 mark to begin the season. Kansas’ winning ways were temporarily halted after No. 1 Florida handed the Jayhawks their lone loss of the season. KU bounced back finishing the weekend with a pair of victories to improve to 14-1 on the year. In the first 15 games, the Jayhawks collected five victories via run-rule and three with come-from-behind rallies. In KU’s shortened wins, Kansas outscored its opponents 59-14 and three of the four victories were shutouts.
Six Jayhawks are hitting above .300 with sophomore utility Lily Behrmann (.405) and junior infielder Chaley Brickey (.404) batting over .400. Brickey leads the squad with four home runs and 19 RBIs. Senior infielder Chanin Naudin leads the squad with eight doubles. Naudin has driven in 18 RBIs, second-most on the roster, and has tallied a team-high .739 slugging percentage.
Collectively, the Jayhawks are hitting .342 with 32 doubles, 13 home runs and 96 RBIs. Kansas has a .520 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .447. KU is 9-for-13 in stolen base attempts and has drawn a total of 73 walks, averaging 4.8 per game. The Jayhawk pitching staff has posted a 2.98 ERA in 94 innings of work while striking out 77 and allowing 39 walks. In the circle, Kansas pitchers combined to hurl 22 and two-thirds innings of scoreless softball. KU tossed three-consecutive shutouts from Feb. 8-14. The Jayhawks nearly threw a fourth-straight shutout, but Weber State scored a run in sixth inning, ending the KU pitchers’ streak an out shy of 23 scoreless innings.
SCOUTING STONY BROOK
The Seawolves are 2-3 on the season heading into the UNF Home Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. Stony Brook recorded a pair of victories over Bethune-Cookman and Purdue last weekend as it opened the 2015 season at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament. The Seawolves received five-of-seven first place votes to earn the top spot on the America East Conference Preseason Poll.
Senior outfielder Shayla Giosia leads the team with a .400 batting average in five starts. She has collected six hits, including a home run, and four RBIs while posting a .600 slugging percentage and .471 on-base percentage. Three other Seawolves are hitting above .300 on the season. Senior Bria Green has driven in a team-best five RBIs. Collectively, Stony Brook is hitting .236 with 30 hits, including nine for extra bases, and 15 RBIs. In the circle, the Seawolves have a 4.98 staff ERA with three complete games and 19 strikeouts. Junior pitcher Jane Sallen has a 2-2 mark with a 3.33 ERA and 11 strikeouts.
SCOUTING SOUTH DAKOTA
South Dakota enters the tournament with a 3-5-1 mark on the season and has won two of its last three games, the third game resulting in a tie. The Coyotes were selected by the Summit League coaches to finish the conferece slate in third place.
After nine starts, junior utility Yvon Minogue is hitting a team-best mark of .586 with eight doubles and seven RBIs. Senior infielder Matley Jones and junior utility Katie Cochran are tied for the most RBIs on the squad with nine each and the most home runs with two a piece. On the season, the Coyotes are batting .275 with 17 doubles, seven home runs and 42 RBIs. USD’s pitching staff has a 4.34 ERA with two shutouts and 27 K’s in 59 and two-thirds innings pitched. Sophomore Rachel Cue is 3-3 in the circle with a 4.24 ERA and 20 strikeouts in eight appearances.
Siena opened the season last weekend at the EMU Madeira Beach Spring Invitational in Madeira Beach, Florida and lost five-straight games to begin the season. The Saints were selected to finish the Mid-American Athletic Conference in fifth place as voted on by the MAAC coaches.
Freshman infielder Paige Hess was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week after starting all five games last weekend for the Saints, hitting .400 with six hits, two runs and one RBI. Hess is one of three Saints starters to hit above .300 on the season. Siena is batting .273 with 39 hits and 14 RBIs. The Saints’ pitching staff posted a combined ERA of 8.07 with 18 K’s on 32 and one-thirds innings of work. Sophomore Danielle Cacciola leads the Saints in the circle with a 6.23 ERA , while freshman Lauren Butts leads the staff with seven strikeouts.
SCOUTING NORTH FLORIDA
North Florida is 10-5 on the season heading into its own tournament at the UNF Softball Complex. The Ospreys went 3-2 at the FAU Invitational last weekend and have won three of their last six games. UNF was picked to finish the Atlantic Sun Conference in fifth place.
Senior pitcher Kaylie Wallace was selected to the Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference Team to start 2015. She has a 1.33 ERA with 20 strikeouts. Senior Kayla Goff leads the staff with 32 K’s while posting a 1.55 ERA. The Ospreys’ pitching staff has a combined ERA of 2.18 with seven complete games, five shutouts and 75 strikeouts. Offensively, UNF is batting .280 with 116 hits, including 27 extra-base knocks, and 68 RBIs. Four Ospreys are hitting above .300 with one hitting higher than .400. Junior infielder Stacy McClelland leads the squad with a .404 batting average and four home runs. She is second on the roster in RBIs with 15 and has recorded a slugging percentage of .673 so far this season.
Record vs. Stony Brook
Kansas has a perfect 3-0 record in the all-time series against Stony Brook. The series began in 2012 with KU winning, 2-0. The Jayhawks have outscored the Seawolves, 21-1, in three meetings.
Record vs. South Dakota
The series against the Jackrabbits is tied, 1-1. The series began in 1978 with a Jayhawk victory, but USD evened the mark with a 5-1 win last season.
Record vs. Siena
The Jayhawks and Saints meet on the diamond for the first time in program history Saturday morning.
Record vs. North Florida
Kansas has an unblemished 3-0 mark against North Florida. The series began in 2011 with a 2-1 victory. The last time the two programs met on the diamond was in 2012, when KU defeated the Ospreys, 7-3.
JAYHAWKS ON THE NATIONAL RADAR
Kansas softball set a new program record reaching 12-straight wins to start the 2015 season and after a 4-1 performance on the diamond over the weekend, the Jayhawks broke into the national polls for the first time since 2011. At 14-1 on the season, KU earned a No. 25 ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Poll and is receiving 26 votes, good for No. 26, in the NFCA/USA Today Poll. Last week, Kansas received votes in both major softball polls.
HOW KANSAS STACKS UP INTHE BIG 12
The Jayhawks own the second-best batting average (.342) in the Big 12 Conference while in the circle, KU has the third-lowest ERA (2.98). Kansas also has the best fielding percentage (.974) in the league. Sophomore utility Lily Behrmann and junior infielder Chaley Brickey rank among the top 10 in batting average. Behrmann is hitting .405, while Brickey is batting .404. Senior infielder Chanin Naudin has tallied a conference-leading eight doubles. Senior pitcher Alicia Pille has posted a 1.77 ERA, which is the fourth-lowest ERA in the conference. Pille also leads the Big 12 in wins with an 8-0 record and three shutouts. She is second in league in strikeouts with 52.
The Jayhawks return to Florida for the third-straight weekend for another tournament at Stetson in Deland. Kansas will face La Salle, Chattanooga and the tournament-host Hatters in five games over three days at Patricia Wilson Field (March 6-8).
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