No. 23 Kansas Hosts Indiana State for Midweek Match Up
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball’s homestand at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park continues with a midweek match up against Indiana State Tuesday, March 17 at 3 p.m. The Jayhawks (24-2) enter the contest with a perfect 3-0 record at home and look to improve that mark to 4-0 before hosting the Rock Chalk Challenge March 20-22.
AROUND THE DIAMOND
Tuesday’s midweek match up against Indiana State is Take a Kid to the Ballpark Day: buy one adult ticket and get one youth ticket free. Also, Junior Jayhawks get free admission and $3 tickets for parents. St. Patrick’s Day favors will be handed out to fans in attendance.
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
- Eight members of the Jayhawk starting lineup are hitting above .300 in 2015 and contributing to KU’s .349 batting average, which is the second-best team average in the Big 12 Conference. Juniors Briana Evans and Chaley Brickey are hitting over .400 after posting .411 and .405 batting averages, 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 24-2 on the season with No. 1 Florida and Chattanooga handing KU its pair of losses.
- The Jayhawks’ red-hot start to the 2015 campaign has put Kansas on the national radar. Heading into the sixth week of the season, KU jumped to No. 23 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll and moved up one spot to No. 24. It marks the first time since 2011 that the Jayhawks have been nationally-ranked and third week in a row to earn a national ranking.
- The Jayhawks have outscored their opponents 183-69 in 26 games, including seven shutouts and a no-hitter. KU scores its most runs during the first and third frames after plating 36 and 31 runs, respectively.
- KU has a perfect 19-0 record when scoring first and is 5-2 when the opposition strikes first.
- After 26 games, the Jayhawks have outhit their opponents 242-119 and own a 21-0 record when outhitting the team in the other dugout.
- 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 26 games of the season, KU’s defense has committed only 16 errors in 166 innings and has a .976 fielding percentage.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
The Jayhawks continue a 12-game homestand this week with a contest against Indiana State (3/17) before hosting the Rock Chalk Challenge (March 20-22). Kansas opened its home slate with an unblemished 3-0 record after sweeping its opponents at the Jayhawk Invitational. KU has outscored its opponents 183-69 this season and last weekend outscored the opposition 20-6. Among its 24 wins this season, Kansas has recorded nine run-rule victories, five come-from-behind wins and had two decisions in its favor in extra innings.
Eight Jayhawks are hitting above .300 with junior outfielder Briana Evans leading the offensive charge with .411 batting average. Junior infielder Chaley Brickey and freshman Daniella Chavez lead the squad with five home runs each. Brickey leads the squad with 33 RBIs and a .655 slugging percentage. Senior utility Maddie Stein is the most recent Jayhawk to launch a grand slam, her second and the team’s eighth of the season. Stein has also posted a team-best 10 doubles so far this season and is six RBIs away from breaking Kansas’ all-time RBI record.
Collectively, the Jayhawks are hitting .349 with 44 doubles, 23 home runs and 165 RBIs. Kansas has a .514 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .446. KU is 20-for-25 in stolen base attempts and has drawn a total of 117 walks, which is 57 away from setting a new team single-season record. The Jayhawk pitching staff has posted a 2.61 ERA, good for third-lowest mark in the league, in 166 innings of work while striking out 155 and allowing 60 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 INDIANA STATE
Indiana State heads into the midweek match-up with a 6-13 overall record on the season. The Sycamores are coming off of a 2-1 series victory over conference foe, Wichita State. The team has four players batting over .300 and a combined batting average of .265 with 119 hits, including 24 extra-base shots. Freshman outfielder Erika Crissman leads the offensive effort with a team-high four doubles and 11 RBIs, while swiping six stolen bases in nine attempts. Junior utility Megan Stone is tied for a team-best two home runs, registering a slugging percentage of .463. Stone ranks second on the squad recording 16 hits and 10 RBIs.
The Sycamores’ pitching staff is powered by sophomore hurler Taylor Lockwood, who has an ERA of 2.38 while striking out 46 batters in 61.2 innings of work. Collectively, Indiana State has combined for a 5.45 ERA in 115.2 innings pitched and has thrown a total of 66 strikeouts this season.
KANSAS ON THE NATIONAL RADAR
Kansas softball jumped two spots to No. 23 in the NFCA/USA Today poll during the sixth week of the season. KU also moved up to the 24th spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25. The Jayhawks have earned a national ranking for the first time since 2011 and have held a spot in the national polls for the last three weeks.
HOME RUN FUN
The Jayhawks have launched a total of 23 balls over the outfield wall in 2015, which is the fourth-most home runs among teams in the Big 12 Conference. Seven different Jayhawks have recorded at least one home run this season. Junior infielder Chaley Brickey and freshman infielder Daniella Chavez have each hit five long balls. Kansas has also posted eight grand slams so far this season by five different members of the roster, including a walk-off from senior utility Maddie Stein against Omaha (3/15). Chavez leads the squad with three grand slams this season and is four away from setting a new national single-season record.
Along with a hot start to the season, Kansas softball has some streaks that continue to extend with each game in 2015. Junior outfielder Briana Evans, along with senior utility Maddie Stein, own the longest hitting streak of the season at nine-straight games. Stein’s nine-game hitting streak is the longest active streak after recording a base knock in each of the past nine games. Evans has posted the longest streak for reaching base safely after making it aboard in 25-straight games. The Jayhawks opened the year with a 12-game winning streak, which tied for the sixth-longest winning streak in school history. The longest winning streak in Kansas softball history is 20 games, set in 2012.
JAYHAWKS AMONG THE NATION’S BEST
Kansas is among the top in the country in several statistical categories. The Jayhawks have the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation (.923) with a 24-2 record. KU is 17th in fielding percentage (.976) and 14th in on-base percentage (.444), while also posting the 14th-best batting average (.349). Individually, senior utility Maddie Stein is 16th in the nation in sacrifice flies (3), while junior infielder Chaley Brickey ranks No. 22 in the country in RBIs (33). Senior hurler Alicia Pille is third in shutouts (5) and fifth in victories (14). She is also ranks 27th in strikeouts (109).
Kansas continues its 12-game homestand with the Rock Chalk Challenge, March 20-22, at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. The field includes the Jayhawks, Georgia State, UMKC and Eastern Michigan. First pitch for KU is Friday, March 20 at 1 p.m., against EMU.
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