Kansas Faces Evansville in Midweek Doubleheader
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball continues its non-conference slate with a midweek doubleheader against Evansville on Tuesday, March 22 at Rock Chalk Park. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m., on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Around the Diamond
The Jayhawks will be giving away coloring books and crayons to fans in attendance at the doubleheader, while supplies last. The first 100 people will receive a concession special of a hot dog and fruit snacks for $1.50.
Leading Off FOr Kansas
- Over spring break, Kansas played three games and went 2-1 to improve to 17-10 on the season.
- After earning just her second loss of the season in the circle, sophomore Andie Formby bounced back in historic fashion, throwing the 26th no-hitter in Kansas softball history against Saint Louis (3/20).
- Formby tossed 28 and two-thirds scoreless innings before No. 22 Minnesota ended the streak after scoring four runs on KU’s right-hander.
- KU has launched 31 home runs over the outfield fence this season, tied for the most in the Big 12, which have plated 62 of Kansas’ 132 runs scored in 2016. A total of 10 Jayhawks have recorded a long ball.
- Senior infielder Chaley Brickey walked her way into the history books after recording four base on balls during the second weekend of the season. The Haltom City, Texas native claimed Kansas’ all-time walk record, surpassing Tracy Bunge’s record 108 walks from 1983-86. Brickey currently has 124 career walks.
- In the last three seasons, Kansas has recorded three top-10 wins including a victory over then-No. 1 Oklahoma, 2-0, in 2013. During the 2015 season, KU continued its tradition of upsetting OU with a 4-2 win over the fifth-ranked Sooners on April 24.
- KU’s 10-4 win over Southern Illinois (3/6) gave Kansas head coach Megan Smith her 200th win at the helm of the Jayhawk program. The Jayhawks have recorded 30 wins in each of the last five seasons under Smith. Kansas’ 40 wins last season were the most victories claimed by KU in the Smith era, and the most wins by a Jayhawk team since 1997.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas spent Spring Break on the diamond and went 2-1, including a 1-1 mark at Rock Chalk Park. Kansas’ two victories came in shutout fashion as sophomore Andie Formby started with a complete-game shutout over Creighton and ended the week with a no-hit performance against Saint Louis. KU’s lone loss of the week came to No. 22 Minnesota, marking the fourth time this season that the Jayhawks have fallen short to a nationally-ranked opponent.
Formby made three starts this past week and gave up four runs in 15 innings of work. The Golden Gophers’ four runs in her second start of the week ended Formby’s scoreless streak at 28 and two-thirds innings. Since March 6, Formby has allowed four earned runs in 34 and two-thirds innings for a 0.81 ERA. Against Creighton, Formby struck out seven batters, marking the third time this season that she has struck out seven or more batters in a single game. On the season, Formby is 9-2 in the circle with a 1.76 ERA. KU’s pitching staff has a 2.84 ERA with 136 strikeouts while giving up 67 walks.
Offensively, Kansas hit .308 in the last three games with six doubles and five home runs for a .577 slugging percentage and .413 on-base percentage. Senior shortstop Chaley Brickey led the offensive charge, hitting .750 with a team-best three doubles and a home run for a 1.500 slugging percentage. Along with her team-high six hits, Brickey drew three walks to record a .818 on-base percentage. Redshirt sophomore catcher Harli Ridling launched a pair of home runs and tallied a team-best six RBIs over the last three games, while batting .300.
Sophomore outfielder Erin McGinley’s bat continues to heat up as she recorded five hits in the last three games, including a walk-off home run. Erin McGinley hit .455 last week with three RBIs along with her second career long ball. The offensive highlight of the weekend came from senior infielder Kylee Kennedy. The Topeka, Kansas native entered the game against Saint Louis as a pinch hitter and during her second at-bat of the contest delivered a three-run homer to give Kansas the lead. Kennedy’s second career long ball sparked nine unanswered Jayhawk runs against the Billikens.
Scouting the Purple Aces
Evansville heads into the doubleheader having lost eight of its last nine games, including three-straight to Drake. The Purple Aces’ last six contests have been decided by two runs or less. Evansville is 11-12 on the season and opened 2016 winning six of its first seven games.
Junior Danielle Freeman entered the 2016 season as one of the top softball players in the Missouri Valley Conference, earning a spot on the league’s preseason team. A utility player, Freeman led the Purple Aces with a .339 batting average while posting a league-best .723 slugging percentage last season. Currently, Freeman has the third-best batting average on the team (.288) while registering a home run and 11 RBIs. Junior infielder Michal Luckett is hitting a team-high .360 with a pair of home runs and 11 RBIs, while junior outfielder Chandra Parr is batting .328 with 11 extra-base hits and a team-high 17 RBIs. On the year, the Purple Aces are batting .240 with 138 hits, including 51 extra-base hits, and 52 walks.
Redshirt sophomore Morgan Lambert earned conference accolades at the conclusion of last season. In 2015, Lambert garnered MVC All-Defensive Team honors after playing in 51 games while making 46 starts, primarily at first base. She finished the season with a .980 fielding percentage and made just five errors over the course of the season.
In the circle, Evansville’s pitching staff has posted a 3.05 ERA with 147 strikeouts and 53 walks. Opposing teams are hitting .264 against the Purple Aces’ pitchers. Freshman Morgan Florey leads the way for Evansville with a 5-2 mark in 2016 and a 1.48 ERA in 61 and two-thirds innings of work. She has struck out a team-best 91 batters during her rookie campaign in the circle.
The Series Breakdown
Tuesday’s doubleheader marks for the first meeting between Kansas and Evansville on the softball diamond.
Zip, Zero, Zilch: Formby No-Hits Billikens
Just 24 hours after ending her nearly 29 scoreless-inning streak, sophomore right-hander Andie Formby bounced back in historic fashion. Formby went the distance on March 20 throwing her fifth complete-game shutout of the season, and third in her last five outings. Even more impressive, Formby finished the game without surrendering a hit, becoming the 26th Jayhawk to register a no-hitter in Kansas softball history. Alicia Pille was the last Jayhawk to throw a no-hitter, which was during the 2015 season against Penn State.
Walk this Way
Senior infielder Chaley Brickey walked her way into the Kansas record books after recording her 109th career base on balls against UC Riverside (2/21), becoming the Jayhawks’ all-time walk leader after surpassing Tracy Bunge’s base on balls count of 108 from 1983-86. Brickey, who averaged 34 walks per season during her first three years in the Crimson and Blue, set a single-season of 42 walks during the 2014 campaign.
Home Run Fun
The Jayhawks blasted 31 home runs in the first 27 games of the 2016 campaign, tied for the most long balls by a team in the Big 12 Conference. Eight of those 28 long balls came at the end of sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez’s bat. A year ago, Chavez led the squad with 16 home runs as a rookie. In all, 10 different Jayhawks have sent the ball over the outfield fence so far this season. Kansas launched a total of 52 balls over the outfield wall in 2015, which was the third-most home runs among teams in the Big 12 Conference. Seven Jayhawks recorded at least one home run last year. KU also posted 10 grand slams in 2015 by six different members of the roster.
Around the League
The Jayhawks are putting up impressive numbers through the first five weeks of the 2016 season. Kansas is second in the Big 12 Conference in drawing walks with 99, has the second-best fielding percentage (.985), is tied for first in home runs with 30, fourth in batters struck out with 136 and third in shutouts thrown with seven. Individually, sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez has made her mark on the league standings. Chavez is second in home runs (8) and first in runs batted in (32). Senior infielder Chaley Brickey leads the Big 12 in walks (20), runs scored (26) and has the third-best batting average (.410). In the circle, sophomore Andie Formby has posted the fourth-lowest ERA in the league (1.76). She is tied for first in shutouts (5) and tied for third in wins (9) and is fourth in strikeouts (68).
The Jayhawks host Wichita State in midweek action on Tuesday, March 29, at 6 p.m., before opening their Big 12 slate on the road at Oklahoma April 1-3. Kansas’ matchup with in-state foe Wichita State will air on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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