Jayhawks continue homestand with Rock Chalk Challenge

Rock Chalk


Date March 16-19, 2017
Location Lawrence, Kan.
Notes Game Notes

Audio Audio Stream
Stats Live StatsLAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas softball continues its 10-game homestand with its second nonconference tournament of the 2017 campaign. The Jayhawks will host UMKC, LSU, Tulsa, Southeast Missouri and Omaha during the Rock Chalk Challenge March 16-19 at Rock Chalk Park. 

Leading off for Kansas

  • Kansas swept its competition during the Jayhawk Invitational last weekend with a 3-0 record. 
  • The Jayhawks outscored their opponents 32-4 in their three outings. Overall in 2017, Kansas has outscored its foes 132-52 in 24 games. 
  • KU’s pitching staff has posted a 1.77 ERA through 24 games in 2017, good for the lowest ERA in the Big 12 Conference. 
  • Sophomore hurler Alexis Reid has tossed a 1.41 ERA in 15 appearances and has the best ERA among the league’s pitchers.
  • Junior utility Jessie Roane has been productive at the plate in the early goings of the 2017 campaign. She has recorded a Big 12-leading 25 RBIs in 24 starts. She also has hit the most home runs in a single game this season by anyone in the Big 12 after launching three over the fence against Savannah State (2/11).

About the Jayhawks
After recording three victories last weekend, Kansas improved to 15-9 on the season with seven games to go before the start of Big 12 Conference action. In their last three outings, the Jayhawks have outscored their opponents 32-4 and launched five home runs. 
Junior catcher Harli Ridling led KU’s offense last weekend after hitting .714 with two home runs and nine RBIs. Sophomore pitcher Alexis Reid highlighted the Jayhawks’ weekend in the circle with a 2-0 record and allowing just one earned run in 11 innings of work. 

Kansas’ offense is batting .296 in 2017 with 183 hits, including the second-most home runs (21) in the Big 12, and 70 walks. Seven Jayhawks are hitting above .300 after 24 games. Junior utility Jessie Roane is batting .372 with five home runs, five doubles and a league-leading 25 RBIs. Freshman infielder Madison Sykes recorded her first career home run over the weekend and is hitting .319 with 10 RBIs. 

The Jayhawks’ pitching staff continues to lead the conference with the lowest ERA (1.77). After a pair of wins last weekend, Reid has posted a 1.41 ERA, the lowest by any pitcher in the Big 12. She is second in the league in victories (8) and first in shutouts tossed (4). Reid struck out a career-high eight batters in her last outing and she leads the KU pitching staff with 47 K’s. 

Scouting UMKC
Kansas and UMKC meet on the diamond for the first time since 2015. The Kangaroos enter the Rock Chalk Challenge with a 6-16 record and have won two of their last four games. Offensively, the ‘Roos are batting .271 with 147 hits, including 27 doubles and 10 home runs, and 55 walks. UMKC is led at the plate by redshirt junior Kendra Leach, who has a .421 batting average with six doubles, three triples and eight RBIs. The ‘Roos’ pitching staff has a 6.39 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 129 and one-third innings of work. Junior Lynsey Connor has posted a 6.69 ERA in 10 starts with a team-best 13 strikeouts. 

Scouting LSU
LSU is the first nationally-ranked opponent to visit Rock Chalk Park in 2017. The No. 12 Tigers are 19-6 on the season and have lost two of their last three games heading into a midweek matchup with Wichita State prior to the Rock Chalk Challenge. At the plate, LSU is hitting .355 this season with 30 doubles, eight triples, 17 home runs and 69 walks. Senior outfielder Bailey Landry is leading the charge for the Tigers with a .524 batting average. She has hit a team-high five triples, along with four doubles, a home run and 19 RBIs. LSU’s pitching staff has registered a 1.75 ERA, the lowest ERA of teams in this weekend’s nonconference tournament. Junior pitcher Carley Hoover has posted a 4-3 record with a 1.13 ERA and 79 strikeouts. 

Scouting Tulsa
Kansas and Tulsa meet for the second time on the diamond this weekend and the Jayhawks look to even the 2017 series with a victory on Saturday. The Golden Hurricane enter the Rock Chalk Challenge with a 14-10 record and have won three of their last four games. Offensively, Tulsa is hitting .274 with 176 hits, including 34 for extra bases, and 61 walks. Sophomore outfielder Julia Hollingsworth leads the Golden Hurricane offense with a .377 batting average and a team-best 13 RBIs. In the circle, Tulsa has posted a 2.45 ERA with 155 strikeouts in 163 innings of work. Junior Emily Watson has thrown a team-low 1.45 ERA with a team-high 115 strikeouts in 12 starts.

Scouting Southeast Missouri
Sunday’s matchup with Southeast Missouri marks the first meeting with the Redhawks in Kansas program history. Southeast Missouri heads into the Rock Chalk Challenge with a 12-5 record and has won three of its last four games. The Redhawks play a pair of midweek contests before traveling to Lawrence. At the plate, SEMO is batting .323 with 149 hits, including 47 extra-base knocks, and 51 walks. Freshman outfielder Rachel Anderson has registered a team-high .480 batting average with 24 hits, including five triples and two home runs, and a team-best 12 RBIs. The Redhawks’ pitching staff has recorded a 3.02 ERA with 72 K’s in 109 innings pitched. Junior hurler Madeline Krumrey is 7-2 in the circle with a 1.57 ERA and 32 strikeouts. 

Scouting Omaha
For the third year in a row, Kansas and Omaha will square off on the diamond. The Mavericks enter the Rock Chalk Challenge with an 8-14 mark on the season and have lost three of their last four games. Offensively, Omaha is batting .246 in 2017 with 134 hits, 63 RBIs and 71 walks. Junior outfielder Kelly Pattison leads the team with three long balls and 14 RBIs, while hitting .303 in 22 starts. In the circle, the Mavericks’ pitching staff has struck out 49 batters in 137 and one-third innings of work, while posting a 4.28 ERA. Sophomore Laura Roecker is 5-6 in the circle with a 4.09 ERA and a team-high 29 strikeouts. 

The Jayhawk Way
From the moment a student-athlete steps on campus, Kansas head softball coach Megan Smith and her staff begin the process of instilling the Jayhawk Way into their team. The philosophy guides the Jayhawks in competing on the diamond, in the classroom and being a part of the community. There are several core values that the Jayhawks learn to live by while playing at Kansas: family, academics, character and hard work.

And the Award Goes to…
Kansas softball swept the first 2017 Big 12 Conference weekly accolades as senior infielder Taylor Dodson earned her first player of the week award and sophomore Alexis Reid also won her first pitcher of the week honor. Dodson began the season hitting .500 in the first five games with four home runs, while Reid posted a 2-0 record in the circle with a complete-game shutout. During the fifth week of the season, junior catcher Harli Ridling earned her second-career weekly honor after hitting .714 during the Jayhawk Invitational.  

Around the Nation
After a strong start to the 2017 campaign, Kansas ranks among the top of several national statistics. KU’s .981 fielding percentage is eighth in the nation. The Jayhawks have the 22nd-best ERA in the country after Kansas’ pitching staff has posted a 1.77 ERA. Sophomore hurler Alexis Reid is 11th in the country in shutouts pitched (4), while senior infielder Taylor McElhaney is seventh in sacrifice hits per game (0.38).

Up Next
Kansas travels to SIU-Edwardsville for a midweek matchup on Wednesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. The game against the Cougars is the final tuneup before the Jayhawks begin Big 12 Conference action with Baylor on March 24. KU’s meeting with SIUE will air on the Jayhawk Radio Network. 

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