Jayhawks Close Out Non-Conference Slate at UMKC
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas ends its five-game road swing on Tuesday, April 8 against UMKC at Missouri 3&2 Complex. It marks the Jayhawks’ final midweek and non-conference game of the 2014 season. KU returns to conference action April 17-19 when the Red Raiders of Texas Tech come to Lawrence for a three-game series.
LEADING OFF FOR KANSAS
- Kansas is 28-13 and has won 17 of the last 23 games, including a series sweep over Oklahoma State to open the 2014 Big 12 slate. The 3-0 record after the first weekend of conference play was the best start in Big 12 action since the Jayhawks opened 1997 with a 9-0 mark.
- The Jayhawks defeated then-No. 8 Kentucky 7-5 on March 23 and extended their streak of defeating a nationally-ranked opponent to five-consecutive seasons under head coach Megan Smith.
- KU has outscored opponents 194-93 after 41 games. Kansas has a 24-5 advantage when scoring first in the ballgame and has outscored opponents 35-13 in the first frame.
- The Jayhawks have outhit opponents in 28-of-41 games this season. Kansas owns a 25-3 record when out hitting its opponents.
- For four-straight weeks a Jayhawk was honored with Big 12 Player/Pitcher of the Week honors. Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Kessler, sophomore infielder Chaley Brickey, junior pitcher Alicia Pille and freshman catcher Harli Ridling all earned Big 12 weekly honors in 2014. It ties for the program record of the most weekly accolades in a season, which was also achieved in 2006.
- Five Jayhawks are hitting above .300 on the season. Brickey leads the offensive charge with a .389 batting average.
- Ridling hit her first career grand slam against Jackson State (2/22). Ridling and Brickey are tied with the most home runs on the season with eight.
- Sophomore Kelsey Kessler leads the Kansas pitching staff with 211 strikeouts on the season and is just the fifth sophomore Jayhawk pitcher to hurl 140 or more strikeouts in a single season. Kessler recorded a career-high 15 Ks earlier this season against Chattanooga (2/9) and has struck out 10 or more batters in seven games.
- Junior Maddie Stein and senior Taylor Hatfield have the longest hitting streak by a Jayhawk after recording at least one hit in 12-straight games. Brickey has the second-longest hitting streak after registering a hit in 11 games.
Following the Jayhawks
Live stats are offered for all the Jayhawks’ games during the 2014 season and are available via KUAthletics.com. Fans can listen to every home game through Jayhawk Digital Passport, which is available at KUAthletics.com. Kansas softball’s twitter account (@KUSoftball) will also have in-game updates during each game of the season.
KANSAS VS. UMKC: THE SERIES
Tuesday’s game marks the 34th meeting in program history with Kansas leading the all-time series 31-2. The Jayhawks are on a five-game winning streak over the Kangaroos and have won 21 of the last 22 games. The series against the ‘Roos began in 1988 when KU defeated Kansas City, 12-0. Kansas has shut out UMKC on 19 occasions.
LAST TIME OUT
The last meeting between the two programs on the diamond was April 24, 2013. Right-hander Alicia Pille tossed her second shutout of the 2013 season in a 4-0 win over Kansas City. Maddie Stein powered Kansas’ offense with two hits and three RBIs in the victory.
SCOUTING THE KANGAROOS
UMKC is 12-27 on the season heading into the midweek match-up against Kansas. The Kangaroos won one game of the three-game series last weekend against conference foe New Mexico State. Offensively, the ‘Roos are hitting .254 with 260 hits, including 57 extra base hits, and 118 RBIs. Kansas City posted an on-base percentage of .312 and has stolen 32 bases in 42 attempts. Cinda Ramos leads the team batting .375 in 37 starts with 10 doubles, three home runs and 22 RBIs. Marlee Maples leads the team with 12 doubles and is hitting .322, while Katie Kelley leads the squad with five home runs. Defensively, the Kangaroos have a .940 fielding percentage after committing 67 errors in 252.1 innings. Kansas City’s pitching staff has a combined ERA of 4.47, allowing 161 earned runs and 334 hits. The ‘Roos staff has struck out 169 batters and hurled four shutouts. Kelley has a 3.58 ERA and 6-12 record in the circle after 16 starts. She has struck out 76 batters and tossed nine complete games. Opponents are hitting .280 against her and she has given up 124 hits.
EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM
The Jayhawks have scored first in 29-of-41 games played. Kansas owns a 24-5 mark when scoring first. The Jayhawks are 13-3 when scoring in the first inning and have outscored opponents 35-13 in the opening frame.
TWO OUT SUCCESS
Freshman Harli Ridling leads the team with 13 two-out RBIs. Junior Chanin Naudin has tallied 19 RBIs this season, 11 of which came with two outs. In all, KU has recorded 78 RBIs with two outs.
HIT ME WITH YOUT BEST SHOT
Freshman Harli Ridling leads the team with 18 hit-by-pitches. Ridling’s hit-by-pitches combined with 11 walks and 38 hits gives her the second-best on-base percentage (.450) on the team.
WALK IT OUT
The Jayhawks have recorded 134 walks after 41 games in the 2014 campaign. Sophomore Chaley Brickey has tallied a team-high 32 walks this season, while senior Alex Jones has collected 17 walks. Kansas’ individual single-season record for walks is 36 set in 1985 by Tracy Bunge.
UP NEXT Kansas returns to Big 12 action April 17-19 when the Red Raiders of Texas Tech visit Arrocha Ballpark for a three-game series. The opening game of the series is Thursday, April 17 at 5 p.m.
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