Kansas Opens NCAA Berth With Louisville

Columbia (Mo) Regional:
Kansas vs. Louisville
Date May 15 // 4 p.m.
Location Columbia, Missouri
FIeld University Field
Series Series tied 2-2
Radio Jayhawk Radio Network
Notes Kansas
Stats at a Glance KU UL
Record 38-13, 8-10 30, 17, 16-7
Rankings RV/RV NR
Batting Average .319 .308
Slugging Percentage .493 .477
On-Base Percentage .420 .390
Home Runs 52 42
RBI 290 229
Earned Run Average 3.66 2.76
Strikeouts 277 232

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas opens its second-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance with the ACC’s Louisville on Friday, May 15 at 4 p.m., at University Field on the campus of Missouri. KU earned its 12th overall NCAA postseason berth with an at-large bid into the 2015 Tournament. After Friday afternoon’s contest with the Cardinals, the Jayhawks will face either Missouri or Indiana State in the double-elimination Regional. Catch all the action from Columbia, Missouri on ESPN3 or the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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.
• Senior utility Maddie Stein became the all-time RBI leader in Kansas softball history on March 22 after recording her 141st career RBI with a home run to left field. She currently has 150 RBIs in her career and 41 on the season.
• Setting records has become a trend for the Jayhawks in 2015. Freshman infielder Daniella Chavez rewrote the Kansas record book tallying the most RBIs in a single-season. She has registered 65 RBIs this season, surpassing Serena Settlemier, who recorded 61 RBIs in 2006. 
 A year after walking her way into the history books, junior Chaley Brickey is eight walks away from the Jayhawks’ all-time walk record, which is 108 base on balls set by Tracey Bunge (1983-86).
• Senior hurler Alicia Pille has been making her mark in the circle all season. Her latest feat was reaching 23 wins in a single season, making her the first Jayhawk to do so since 1997. Only seven previous Jayhawks have reached the milestone. After striking out 657 batters in her career, she is also just the fourth KU pitcher to reach 650 K’s.
• In the last three seasons, Kansas has recorded three top-10 wins including a victory over then-No. 1 Oklahoma, 2-0, in 2013. This season, KU continued its tradition of upsetting OU with a 4-2 win over the fifth-ranked Sooners on April 24. 
• Head coach Megan Smith recorded her 300th career win after the Jayhawks defeated Georgia State, 5-4, on March 22. During the Oklahoma State series, the Jayhawks recorded their 30th win of the year, marking the fifth-straight season that Smith has guided Kansas to the 30-win plateau.
Kansas’ 38 wins in a season is the most victories claimed by KU in the Smith era, and the most wins from a Jayhawk team since 1997.
• The Jayhawks have registered a combined 222 walks during the 2015 season, setting a new team single-season record. The previous mark was 173 walks collected by the 2011 squad. This season marks the seventh time in Kansas history that the Jayhawks have tallied more than 150 base on balls in a season.
• After making it to their first NCAA Tournament since 2006 last year, the Jayhawks return to the tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2005-06. In all, Kansas has made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances in program history.
Kansas concluded the 2015 Big 12 Conference slate with a three-game sweep on the road against Iowa State. The trio of victories extended KU’s win streak over the Cyclones to 10 games, including a series sweep each of the last three seasons. During the final weekend of the regular season, freshman designated player Daniella Chavez led the offensive charge hitting .727 with three home runs and 11 RBIs.
Rewriting Kansas’ record book has become a continuing trend for the Jayhawks in 2015. Senior utility Maddie Stein claimed KU’s career RBI record after registering her 141st RBI against Georgia State (3/22). She currently has 150 RBIs in her career. Chavez has also made her mark on the Jayhawk records after collecting 65 RBIs and 15 home runs during her rookie campaign. Chavez’s 15 long balls ties the freshman homer record, while her 65 RBIs set a new single-season mark. Additionally, junior infielder Chaley Brickey is nine walks away from becoming Kansas’ all-time walks leader.   
Six different Jayhawks are hitting over .300, contributing to the team batting average of .319, while seven different Jayhawks have assisted in Kansas hitting 52 home runs this season, including 10 grand slams. Chavez has launched a team-leading 15 homers and four grand slams in 2015.
Kansas’ pitching staff is led by senior Alicia Pille, who has struck out 184 batters in 188.1 innings of work. She has registered a 2.90 ERA and collected 23 victories in the circle, which is the most wins by a Jayhawk pitcher since 2001.  Overall, the Kansas staff has a 3.66 ERA after pitching 337 innings in 51 games, striking out 277 batters.
After entering as the ACC Tournament as the No. 4 seed, Louisville (30-17) fell 3-2 to NC State in the first round of the conference tournament last Thursday afternoon at Tech Softball Field. Like the Jayhawks, the Cardinals earned an at-large bid to the 2015 postseason. Louisville is making its 12th-straight NCAA postseason appearance in school history. Last season, the Cardinals went 0-2 in the Tucson Regional.
The Cardinals are led by outfielder Kelsi Jones, an All-ACC selection, who is hitting .375 on the season. She has collected 36 runs, 17 doubles and 12 stolen bases during her senior campaign. Also an All-ACC First Team honoree, Maryssa Becker tops Louisville’s pitching staff with a 14-7 mark in the circle and 2.22 ERA, while striking out 137 batters in 157.1 innings of work. At the plate, Becker leads Louisville’s offensive charge with nine home runs and 39 RBIs.
Missouri is hosting its seventh-straight NCAA regional this weekend after boasting a 39-14 record in 2015 and a 14-10 conference record. Collectively, the Tigers have six players batting over .300 and have posted a .321 batting average, blasting 72 long balls and 59 doubles over the course of the season.
The Tigers’ offense is led by junior infielder Sami Fagan who has registered a .381 batting average and leads the team with 61 RBIs. Freshman Amanda Sanchez is one of two Tigers on the roster to hit 14 home runs this season. Sanchez has a .333 batting average recording 53 total hits.
The pitching staff is led by sophomore Tori Finucane who has a 3.00 ERA, striking out 129 batters after tossing 137.2 innings. The Tigers’ staff has a combined ERA of 3.08 and has hurled 339.0 innings, striking out 326 batters faced.
Indiana State
The Sycamores head to Columbia, Missouri for their first NCAA Tournament in program history. Indiana State enters the regional with a 26-29 overall record and a 13-13 record in the Missouri Valley Conference. They will play No. 10 Missouri in the second game of the regional on Friday, May 15.
Senior utility Megan Stone leads the Sycamores’ offensive efforts with a .416 batting average while hitting 31 extra-base knocks this season. Stone has blasted a team-best 12 home runs and 18 doubles in 2015. As a squad, Indiana State has registered a .286 batting average, tallying 203 RBIs and 67 doubles this season. In the circle, Indiana State is led by junior Taylor Lockwood who has a 3.30 ERA on the season, striking out 143 batters in 201.1 innings of work. Combined, the pitching staff has collected a 4.37 ERA in 370.1 innings and has struck out 221 batters.
The Jayhawks have made 12 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including a trip to the Women’s College World Series in 1992. KU’s first NCAA appearance was in 1983 and from 1992-94, the Jayhawks made three-straight appearances in the field of 64 for the longest postseason streak in Kansas history. The Jayhawks hosted a regional in both the 1992 and 1994 NCAA Tournament. Overall, Kansas is 15-22 in the NCAA Tournament.
During the 2015 season, the Jayhawks have been ranked as high as No. 22 nationally and have been in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball collegiate Top-25. KU held a spot in at least one of the major softball polls for seven weeks this season. The Jayhawks’ appearance in the polls this season was the first time that Kansas had been nationally ranked since 2011. While the Jayhawks aren’t currently ranked, they are receiving multiple votes in both polls.
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