Kansas Travels to Texas For Final Big 12 Road Trip
LAWRENCE, Kan. – With six games remaining in the 2014 regular season, the Jayhawks travel to Texas May 2-4 for their final Big 12 road trip of the 2014 season. The three-game series kicks off on Friday, May 2 at 7 p.m., at McCombs Field. All three games will air on the Longhorn Network bringing Kansas’ number of televised contests to 11 for the season.
FOLLOWING THE JAYHAWKS
All three games at Texas will air on the Longhorn Network with Carter Blackburn and Megan Willis calling the action. Live stats are offered for all the Jayhawks’ games during the 2014 season and are available via KUAthletics.com. Kansas softball’s twitter account (@KUSoftball) will also have in-game updates during each game of the season. Fans can also listen to every home game through Jayhawk Digital Passport, which is available at KUAthletics.com.
LEADING OFF FOR KANSAS
- Kansas is one win away from reaching the 30-win plateau for the fourth-consecutive season under head coach Megan Smith. KU closes out the season with three of its final six games on the road. The Jayhawks are 29-19 in 2014 and 22-15 away from Arrocha Ballpark.
- The Jayhawks defeated then-No. 8 Kentucky 7-5 on March 23 and extended their streak of defeating at least one nationally-ranked opponent to five-consecutive seasons under Smith.
- KU has outscored opponents 212-129 after 48 games. Kansas has a 25-5 advantage when scoring first in the ballgame. The Jayhawks have outhit opponents in 30-of-48 games this season. Kansas owns a 26-5 record when out hitting its opponents.
- The Jayhawks concluded the 2013 season with the eighth-best fielding percentage (.976) in the country and currently have the second-best fielding percentage in the Big 12 and ninth-best in the country (.976) after committing only 29 errors in 318.2 innings.
- Four Jayhawks are hitting above .300 on the season. Sophomore Chaley Brickey leads the offensive charge with a .381 batting average.
- Brickey walked her way to the top of Kansas’ single season base on balls record with a pair of walks on April 26 against Baylor. She has 37 walks this season besting the previous mark of 36 set by Tracy Bunge in 1985.
- Brickey leads KU’s offense with the highest batting average (.381), slugging percentage (.679) and on-base percentage (.517), while recording a team-high home runs (10), walks (37) and runs scored (37).
- Sophomore Kelsey Kessler leads the Kansas pitching staff with 222 strikeouts on the season, which is second in the Big 12, and makes her 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.
KANSAS VS. TEXAS: THE SERIES
The Longhorns have a 26-11 advantage over Kansas in the all-time series. The Jayhawks are looking to snap a 13-game losing streak against Texas. KU’s last win over Texas was in 2008 when Kansas defeated UT, 8-1. The Jayhawks are 1-12 in Austin with the lone win coming in 2007. The series began in 1997 as KU shutout the Longhorns, 3-0, in Lawrence.
LAST TIME OUT
The game-tying run stood on third and the game winner on first as Kansas pressured No. 8 Texas down to the last pitch before succumbing to the Longhorns, 5-4, in the 2013 series finale on March 29. Maggie Hull roped a single in her first at bat to extend her hit streak to 17 games. Sophomore Alicia Pille (7-6) took the loss in the circle, despite holding Texas to four hits in her four innings of work.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS
Texas heads into the weekend tied for second place with Baylor on the Big 12 leaderboard at 9-4 in conference play and 30-19 overall. The Longhorns are 15-8 at McCombs Field in 2014 and 4-2 at home in league action. UT has won three of its last four contests, including winning two of three games against Oklahoma State.
Offensively, Texas leads the conference with a .349 batting average. Brejae Washington is hitting a team-high .452 with 66 hits and 17 RBIs. Washington also leads the team with 31 stolen bases in 34 attempts. Lindsey Stephens leads the conference with 15 home runs and is tied for first in triples (4) with teammates Washington and Taylor Thom. Stephens is hitting .397 with 62 hits, including 29 for extra bases, for an .801 slugging percentage. Thom is batting .377 and has scored 51 runs, which is the most in the Big 12. She is also tied for second in the league with 37 walks.
In the circle, the Longhorns have the fourth-best team ERA (2.84) in the Big 12 and ace Tiarra Davis has the ninth-best ERA (2.48). Texas has posted 257 strikeouts in 312.2 innings of work, while allowing 258 hits, 173 walks and 127 earned runs. Opponents are hitting .222 against UT this season and the Longhorns’ staff has recorded seven shutouts and 26 complete games. Davis has a 15-10 mark in 36 appearances with a 2.48 ERA and 151 strikeouts. She has tossed three shutouts and 18 complete games, which is fourth in the conference, and limited opposing offenses to hitting .201.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
Freshman Harli Ridling leads the team with 20 hit-by-pitches. Ridling’s hit-by-pitches combined with 15 walks and 40 hits gives her the second-best on-base percentage (.434) on the team. Freshman Taylor McElhaney has reached base 17 times after getting hit by a pitch. Ridling is 11th in the country in hit-by-pitch per game (0.43) and McElhaney is 15th in the nation with 0.38 per game.
NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT
Through 318.2 innings of play this season, the Jayhawk defense has committed only 29 errors for the ninth-best fielding percentage in the country and the Big 12’s second-best (.976). A year ago, Kansas broke the program fielding percentage record with a .976 mark, which finished eighth in the NCAA.
WALK IT OUT
The Jayhawks have recorded 150 walks after 48 games in the 2014 campaign. Sophomore Chaley Brickey has tallied a team-high 37 walks this season, which is a new single-season record after surpassing the previous mark of 35 set by Tracy Bunge in 1985.
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