Jayhawks Begin Six-Game Homestand with Cowgirls
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball returns home after six games away from Arrocha Ballpark and begins a six-game homestand with Oklahoma State May 6-8. The three-game Big 12 Conference series opens Friday, May 6 at 5 p.m., on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Around the Diamond
The Jayhawks return home for an action-packed weekend at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. Friday is Nurses Appreciation Day with $5 admission to all nurses. KU will also be giving away sunglasses courtesy of Koch Industries. Saturday is Salute to Services and Alumni Day at the park. On Saturday all fans will receive a Salute to Service flag while Kansas students will receive a free hot dog and fruit snack. On Sunday, the Jayhawks will celebrate Mother’s Day at the ballpark. All moms will get free admission and a flower upon entrance. Concessions will offer $1 Coke floats and the fourth set of trading cards will be given away. Following the series finale, children can run the bases and get autographs from the Jayhawks.
Leading Off for Kansas
- Kansas has won the last three contests against Oklahoma State in Lawrence and owns a 14-20 mark when facing the Cowgirls at home.
- Heading into the 2016 series, the Jayhawks have a six-game winning streak over the Cowgirls after sweeping each of the last two series.
- The Jayhawks have scored first in 28 of their 46 games in 2016 and own a 22-6 record when putting a run on the scoreboard before their opponent.
- Senior shortstop Chaley Brickey claimed her third KU career record at Baylor after registering her 151st run batted in. Earlier this season, she became Kansas’ all-time walks and runs scored leader.
- Brickey became the fifth Jayhawk to break Kansas’ all-time RBI record under head coach Megan Smith. Prior to Brickey holding the record, Liz Kocon, Mariah Montgomery, Maggie Hull and Maddie Stein all set a new RBI record under Smith’s guidance.
- Kansas set a new attendance record on April 9 at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. The crowd of 1,240 marked the largest attendance record and the third of four sellouts since the ballpark opened in 2015.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas returns home after a six-game road swing where the Jayhawks went 1-5 and dropped to 28-18 on the season. KU enters the Big 12 series against Oklahoma State in fourth place with a 5-7 mark. With six games remaining at Arrocha Ballpark, the Jayhawks own a 14-3 record at home this season.
Last weekend, senior shortstop Chaley Brickey went 6-for-10 at the plate in three games at Texas, which increased her batting average to .392 on the season. The Haltom City, Texas native registered three doubles and a home run for a 1.200 slugging percentage. On the year, Brickey has 18 doubles, tying the KU senior record for double in a season, and a team-high 10 home runs. Along with her six hits, Brickey drew a pair of walks for a .667 on-base percentage in Austin. The Jayhawks are hitting .283 at the plate in 2016 with four batting above .300. Brickey leads Kansas in nearly every offensive statistical category while sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez has posted a team-best 45 runs batted in.
Kansas’ pitching staff has a 2.64 ERA, good for the fourth-lowest earned runs average in the league, and is one of four Big 12 softball programs to record over 200 strikeouts this season. Sophomore right-hander Andie Formby is tied for first in shutouts with nine. The Orange, California product has the fourth-lowest ERA among the Big 12 pitchers (2.01) and the fourth-most strikeouts (108). Formby is 16-7 in the circle in 23 starts and has tossed 14 complete games. Senior Monique Wesley also has posted an ERA under 3.00 (2.56) after allowing 19 earned runs in 52 innings of work. She has struck out 41 and owns a 4-3 record in seven starts and 15 appearances.
Scouting the Cowgirls
Oklahoma State heads into the three-game series with a 25-22 overall record, including a 4-9 mark in Big 12 action. The Cowgirls ended a four-game losing skid with a three-game winning streak and have won eight of their last 12 contests. Oklahoma State currently sits in sixth place in the Big 12 standings.
The Cowgirls have the third-best batting average (.308) in the conference with five hitting above .300, including two at .400 or better. Freshman infielder Taylor Lynch has registered a team-high .424 batting average with 11 doubles, five home runs and 30 RBIs. Junior utility Kristen Reasnor leads the team with 10 long balls while freshman Madi Sue Montgomery has recorded a team-best 46 runs batted in. Oklahoma State leads the conference in walks drawn with 198 and the second-best on-base percentage at .417.
In the circle, the Cowgirls’ pitching staff has posted a 5.04 ERA, good for fifth in the league in earned runs average. Senior Kacy Freeze has a 14-8 mark on the season with 4.10 ERA. She has struck out 81 batters and recorded two shutouts in 23 starts. OSU’s pitching staff has registered 168 strikeouts while giving up 121 walks in 300 innings of work. The Cowgirls have recorded four saves and four shutouts in 2016.
The Series Breakdown
Kansas has swept the past two series against Oklahoma State for a six-game winning streak. However, the Cowgirls lead the overall series 64-46, which began in 1978. The Jayhawks own a 14-20 mark against Oklahoma State in Lawrence, including three-straight games at home. The 2016 series is the first meeting between the two programs at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
Around the League
The Jayhawks are putting up impressive numbers during the 2016 season. Kansas is third in the Big 12 Conference in drawing walks with 154, has the second-best fielding percentage (.981) and the fourth-lowest team ERA (2.64). Individually, senior infielder Chaley Brickey leads the Big 12 in walks (35), is first in slugging percentage (.762) and second in on-base percentage (.527). Brickey is also tied for fourth in runs scored (41), is tied for third in doubles hit (18) and tied for fifth in home runs (10). Sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez is fifth in RBIs (45). In the circle, sophomore Andie Formby has posted the fourth-lowest ERA in the league (2.01). She is tied for first in shutouts (nine), is fourth in wins (16) and is fourth in strikeouts (108).
Home Run Fun
The Jayhawks blasted 46 home runs in 46 games of the 2016 campaign,for just the sixth time in Kansas history to reach 40 or more long balls in a season. Senior infielder Chaley Brickey leads the team with 10 home runs and is six away from claiming KU’s all-time home run record. Redshirt sophomore catcher Harli Ridling has hit wight home runs, including two walk-off grand slam. In all, 10 different Jayhawks have sent the ball over the outfield fence so far this season. The most long balls in a season is 60, which the Jayhawks set during the 2011 campaign.
Although graduating both corner infielders at the conclusion of the 2015 season, Kansas’ defense hasn’t skipped a beat committing just 23 errors in 46 games for a .981 fielding percentage, which is the second-best fielding percentage in the Big 12 Conference. KU had a .977 fielding percentage last season after committing only 35 errors in 364 innings, which was the second-best percentage in the conference and 11th in the nation. The Jayhawks’ defense was rarely found making an error during the 2014 season and led the Big 12, finishing second in the country, in fielding percentage after posting a .979 mark.
Kansas concludes the 2016 regular season with a three-game Big 12 Conference series against Iowa State May 12-14. The Jayhawks end a six-game homestand with the Cyclones at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. KU kicks off the series on Thursday, May 12 at 5 p.m., on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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