Jayhawks face Nebraska in midweek action

Games 44

Date April 19, 2017
Location Lincoln, Neb.
Notes Game Notes

Audio Audio Stream
Stats Live Stats
 LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas softball travels to Nebraska for its final midweek matchup of the 2017 season on Wednesday, April 19. First pitch against the Cornhuskers is slated for 6 p.m., on the Jayhawk Radio Network.

Leading off for Kansas

  • Kansas and Nebraska meet for the 106th time in program history on Wednesday evening. KU’s last victory over the Huskers came during the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Nebraska leads the series, 53-52.
  • With its victory over then-No. 14 Baylor (3/25), Kansas’ streak increased to eight-straight seasons with a win over a nationally-ranked opponent. 
  • After defeating Texas Tech twice in a three-game series (April 7-9), Kansas won its first Big 12 series of 2017.
  • Kansas has scored first in 20 of its 43 games in 2017. The Jayhawks have a 13-7 record when putting a run on the scoreboard before their opponent. 
  • Junior outfielder Mikayla Warren hit Kansas’ second grand slam of the season at Texas Tech (4/7). The pinch-hit homer was the first of Warren’s career. 
  • Freshman hurler Mandy Roberts recorded her first career save against the Red Raiders (4/8) after fending off TTU’s late rally in the second game of the series. 

About the Jayhawks
Kansas enters the midweek matchup with a 21-22 overall record and a 18-13 mark in nonconference action. KU’s meeting with Nebraska is the final midweek matchup of the 2017 season and the start of a four-game swing of nonconference action. 

Kansas’ offense is batting .282 in 2017 with 317 hits, including tied for the second-most home runs (33) in the Big 12, and 105 walks. Seven Jayhawks are hitting above .300 after 43 games. Junior infielder Jessie Roane is batting .340 to lead KU’s offense, while senior outfielder Lily Behrmann is just behind with a .325 clip. Roane leads the team with 48 hits, including 13 doubles, and 32 RBIs. Junior Mikayla Warren hit Kansas’ second grand slam of the season at Texas Tech (4/7), her first career long ball in the Crimson and Blue. 

The Jayhawks’ pitching staff has posted the fourth-best ERA in the conference with a 3.46 ERA. After a win over No. 14 Baylor (3/25), sophomore Alexis Reid has defeated at least one nationally-ranked opponent in each of her seasons with the Jayhawks. Reid is 13-15 on the season with 101 strikeouts and a 3.21 ERA. She struck out eight batters in the series finale against Oklahoma State (4/1), marking the second time this season to record eight strikeouts. Junior Sarah Miller has made 10 starts in the circle and owns a 3-4 record. She has a 3.57 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 49 innings of work.

Scouting the Cornhuskers
With a 9-5 record in Big 10 Conference play, Nebraska is fifth in the league standings. The Huskers are 19-22 on the season and have won 11 of their last 13 games. 

Offensively, the Huskers are batting .283 with 305 hits and 86 walks. Four players on NU’s roster are hitting above .300. Junior outfielder Gina Metzler is hitting a team-high .361 in 25 starts and 36 appearances with 30 hits and five RBIs. Senior infielder MJ Knighten leads the team in hits (42), home runs (5) and RBIs (21).

In the circle, Nebraska has posted a 4.73 ERA with 151 strikeouts compared to 149 walks in 264 and two-thirds innings of work. Opposing batters are hitting .317 against the Huskers’ pitching staff. Junior right-handed pitcher Kaylan Jablonski has posted a 4.62 ERA and a 10-11 mark in 133 and one-thirds innings pitched. Jablonski leads the pitching staff with 76 K’s  and is tied for first with six complete games in 20 starts.

Series Breakdown
Nebraska leads the series, 53-52. 

Kansas and Nebraska meet for the 106th time in program history on the diamond Wednesday. The series began in 1979 with a 12-1 NU victory. The Jayhawks have won one of the last two meetings against the Huskers.

Last Time Out
Kansas’ 2014 postseason run came to an end after being edged, 2-1, by No. 19 Nebraska at University Field. Kansas (34-23) had the tying run aboard in both the sixth and seventh innings, but the Cornhuskers kept the momentum from swinging in KU’s favor and claimed a spot in the regional finals.

Home Run Fun
In 43 games of the season, nine different Jayhawks have accounted for 33 home runs for Kansas. Three of those Jayhawks hit multiple long balls during the opening weekend of the 2017 season, including senior infielder Taylor Dodson’s four homers. Junior utility Jessie Roane hit three long balls in one game against Savannah State (2/11), including two in one inning. Junior catcher Harli Ridling leads the team with eight long balls in 2017.

Defensively Sound
While blasting home runs and bringing runners home is fun, Kansas enjoys playing solid defense to accompany its offensive attack. KU has become known as one of the top defensive teams in the Big 12 Conference and the nation. The Jayhawks finished the 2015 season with the 11th-best fielding percentage in the country. The last two seasons, Kansas has ranked second in the league in fielding percentage. Currently, KU has a .973 fielding percentage, the second-best mark in the Big 12, after committing just 35 errors in 43 games. 

Following Kansas
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, KLWN and KWOD. All of KU’s contests will be carried live, for free, at KUAthletics.com/radio or by clicking the link on the online schedule. Fans can also get in-game updates via twitter by following @KUsoftball.

Up Next
Kansas concludes nonconference action with a three-game series against Nevada April 21-23 at Free State High School. First pitch of the series is slated for Friday, April 21 at 7 p.m.

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