Kansas Begins Big 12 slate with Baylor

Game 31-33

Date March 24-26, 2017
Location Lawrence, Kan.
Notes Game Notes

Audio Audio Stream
Stats Live StatsLAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas softball opens its 2017 Big 12 slate with No. 14 Baylor. The three-game series against the Lady Bears is slated to start on Friday, March 24 at 5 p.m., at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. All three games of the series will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network, while the first two games of the series will air on the Jayhawk Television Network.   

Leading off for Kansas

  • Kansas owns a 5-16 mark in Big 12 Conference openers since the league’s inception in 1996. Under head coach Megan Smith, the Jayhawks are 1-6 in the first game of league play.
  • Baylor is the third nationally-ranked opponent that the Jayhawks will face this season. Heading into the three-game series with the Lady Bears, KU is 0-2 against opponents in the national polls.
  • Infielder Taylor Dodson hit her sixth home run of the season against Omaha (3/19). She ranks third in the Big 12 in long balls hit this season, just two behind the leader. 
  • Junior infielder Jessie Roane has hit 10 doubles during her junior campaign, which is tied for the second-most doubles recorded by anyone in the Big 12 Conference this season.
  • KU ended the 2017 Rock Chalk Challenge (3/19) with a pair of walk-off winners, including a three-run home run from freshman Madison Sykes against Southeast Missouri State. Kansas has won two of its last three games heading into conference play. 

About the Jayhawks
Kansas enters Big 12 Conference action play this weekend having won two of its last three games, including a pair of walk-off victories. With six nonconference games remaining, Kansas has posted an 18-12 record ahead of its 21st season in the Big 12. The Jayhawks open league play at home for the first time since 2015 when KU hosted Texas. 

Kansas’ offense is batting .300 in 2017 with 233 hits, including the most home runs (26) in the Big 12, and 82 walks. Nine Jayhawks are hitting above .300 after 30 games. Junior utility Jessie Roane is batting .370 with five home runs, 10 doubles and 27 RBIs, which is the third-most in the league. Freshman infielder Madison Sykes recorded her second career long ball over the weekend, a three-run walk-off home run against Southeast Missouri State. 

The Jayhawks’ pitching staff has posted the third-best ERA in the conference with a 2.48 ERA. After a pair of wins last weekend, sophomore Alexis Reid improved to 10-7 on the season with 63 strikeouts and a 2.09 ERA. She ranks 16th in the country in shutouts thrown with four. Senior Sophia Templin earned her first victory in the circle and has posted a 3.23 ERA after six relief appearances. 

Scouting Lady Bears
No. 14 Baylor owns a 26-5 record in 2017 and has won eight of its last nine games heading into the first weekend of conference play. The Lady Bears are 12-4 when playing on the road this season. BU was selected to finish the Big 12 Conference in third place behind Oklahoma and Texas. 

Offensively, the Lady Bears are batting .335 with 277 hits, including 35 doubles, six triples and 18 home runs, and 68 walks. Nine players on BU’s roster are hitting above .300. Senior infielder Lindsey Cargill is hitting a team-high .462 in 31 starts with a team-best 42 hits. Junior infielder Shelby Friudenberg leads the team in RBIs recorded with 26. 

In the circle, Baylor has posted a 1.70 ERA with 209 strikeouts compared to 45 walks in 210 and one-third innings of work. Opposing batters are hitting .201 against the Lady Bears’ pitching staff. Senior Kelsee Selman has a team-low 1.51 ERA with a 13-2 record. She has struck out 76 batters in 88 and one-thirds innings pitched. Sophomore hurler Gia Rodoni is 8-1 in the circle and has struck out a team-high 85 batters. She has posted a 1.77 ERA in 71 innings of 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 0-2 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.

Welcome Home
In the spring of 2014, Kansas Athletics unveiled one of the top facilities in collegiate athletics when KU opened Rock Chalk Park. Featured in the multi-sport venue is the new home of Jayhawk softball, a 1,100-seat stadium, which will rival each of the Big 12 schools as one of the premier facilities in the conference. Kansas owns a 33-16 record when playing inside Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.

Up Next
Kansas travels to Oklahoma State for a three-game series against the Cowgirls starting on Friday, March 31 at 6 p.m., at Cowgirl Stadium. All three games will air on the Jayhawk Radio Network.

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