Jayhawks host No. 8 Oklahoma for Big 12 series

Games 41-43

Date April 13-15, 2017
Location Lawrence, Kan.
Notes Game Notes

Audio Audio Stream
Stats Live Stats
 LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas softball concludes its homestand with a three-game Big 12 series against No. 8 Oklahoma April 13-15 at Rock Chalk Park. First pitch of the 2017 series against the defending national champions is slated for Thursday, April 13 at 5 p.m., on the Jayhawk Radio Network.

Leading off for Kansas

  • Kansas and Oklahoma meet for the 103rd time in program history on Thursday. KU has won at least one game of the series in each of the last two seasons.
  • 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 40 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 weekend with a 21-19 overall record and a 3-6 mark in Big 12 Conference action. KU has won two of its last four games heading into the three-game series with the defending national champion. The Jayhawks have defeated the Sooners at least once in three of the last four seasons, including an extra-inning walk-off in 2015.

Kansas’ offense is batting .287 in 2017 with 302 hits, including the second-most home runs (31) in the Big 12, and 101 walks. Seven Jayhawks are hitting above .300 after 40 games. Senior outfielder Lily Behrmann is batting .342 to lead KU’s offense, while junior infielder Jessie Roane is just behind with a .338 clip. Roane leads the team with 45 hits, including 12 doubles, and 30 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 3.02 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 13-12 on the season with 94 strikeouts and a 2.70 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 Sooners
With a perfect 6-0 record in Big 12 Conference play, Oklahoma is tied for first in the league with Oklahoma State. The Sooners are 35-7 on the season and have won 12-straight games heading into the series. 

Offensively, the Sooners are batting .318, the second-best batting average in the league, with 360 hits and 151 walks. Nine players on OU’s roster are hitting above .300, including one hitting over .400. Freshman utility Nicole Mendes is hitting a team-high .415 in 23 starts and 31 appearances with 34 hits and 15 RBIs. Sophomore infielder Sydney Romero leads the team in hits (50), while sophomore infielder Shay Knighten leads the squad in RBIs recorded (37).

In the circle, Oklahoma has posted a 1.62 ERA, the second-lowest ERA in the Big 12, with 299 strikeouts compared to 61 walks in 276 and two-thirds innings of work. Opposing batters are hitting .170 against the Sooners’ pitching staff. Junior left-handed pitcher Paige Parker leads the pitching staff with 16 starts. She has posted a 1.67 ERA and struck out a team-high 142 batters in 113 and one-thirds innings of work. Parker owns a 13-5 mark in the circle with 10 complete games and two shutouts.  

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.

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.

Kansas vs. Ranked Opponents
The Jayhawks aren’t afraid of a challenge and will face four opponents with a national ranking this season. Kansas is 1-4 in 2017 against teams ranked in the top-25 polls. KU has knocked off a program ranked among the top 10 in each of the last four seasons. KU’s last two victories over a top-10 team have been against defending national champions Oklahoma.

Up Next
The Jayhawks take a break from Big 12 Conference play to travel to Nebraska for a midweek matchup on Wednesday, April 19. The nonconference game is slated for a 6 p.m., first pitch on the Jayhawk Radio Network. 

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