Kansas Hosts Georgia Tech, North Texas on the Diamond
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas softball concludes its non-conference slate this weekend with two games against Georgia Tech and North Texas. The Jayhawks will host a round-robin tournament during their bye week from Big 12 Conference action April 8-10 at Rock Chalk Park. KU begins the tournament on Friday, April 8 against North Texas at 5 p.m. Every pitch can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Around the Field
Friday is Public Safety Day at Rock Chalk Park. Various safety vehicles will be in the parking lot in front of the Rock Chalk Park entrance for tours and photo opportunities, along with informational tables inside the park. Saturday is Fan Appreciation Day with $5 admission for fans wearing blue. Blue rally towels will be given away to fans in attendance. Sunday fans can enjoy the fun zone prior to the game and kids can run the bases following the game. The second set of trading cards will also be given away.
Centerplate will offer concession specials throughout the weekend. All weekend, fans will receive a free small popcorn with the purchase of a bottled soda. On Friday, KU students can get a free hot dog and super rope, while supplies last.
Leading Off for Kansas
- Kansas takes a break from its Big 12 Conference slate to conclude its non-conference lineup for 2016 with Georgia Tech and North Texas.
- With four games remaining in non-conference action, Kansas has posted a 19-11 record outside of league play. KU has won six of its last 10 contests with three of those losses against a nationally-ranked opponent.
- Oklahoma was the fourth nationally-ranked opponent that the Jayhawks will face this season. Following the three-game series with the Sooners, KU is 1-6 against opponents in the national polls.
- The Jayhawks are set to host their third non-conference tournament at Rock Chalk Park this weekend. Kansas has a 7-3 mark at home this season and a 17-12 overall mark in two seasons at Rock Chalk Park.
About the Jayhawks
This past week on the diamond, Kansas softball went 1-2 at Oklahoma to start Big 12 Conference action and head into the upcoming weekend 20-13 on the season. The Jayhawks scored first in two of three games in Norman and have a 15-5 mark in 2016 when recording a run first. On Saturday, Kansas scored five runs before the Sooners could plate two, as freshman hurler Alexis Reid led the Jayhawks to an upset over No. 12 Oklahoma. KU’s upset victory against the Sooners marked the first win in Norman, Oklahoma, for the Jayhawks since 1995, ending a 24-game losing skid at Marita Hynes Field.
Reid, a right-hander from Blue Springs, Missouri, earned her first win in the circle after tossing her first complete game of the year to take down the Sooners. Reid made one start and two appearances over the weekend. She threw 10 and two-thirds innings and posted a 0.00 ERA. She struck out three batters while allowing two unearned runs, three walks and 11 hits. On the season, Kansas’ pitching staff has registered a 2.77 ERA with 167 strikeouts while allowing just 79 walks in 222 innings of work. Sophomore Andie Formby has a team-low 2.21 ERA with an 11-5 mark in the circle and a team-best 91 strikeouts.
Senior outfielder Shannon McGinley hit .300 in three starts over the weekend. During KU’s victory over the Sooners, McGinley drove in four RBIs with two doubles for her seventh multi-hit effort and second multi-RBI performance of the season. In 2016, McGinley is hitting .350 with nine doubles and nine RBIs. Senior infielder Chaley Brickey leads the squad with a .362 clip. She has recorded 11 doubles, seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 33 starts this season. KU’s offense is batting .267 on the year with 229 hits, including 42 doubles and 36 home runs, and 118 walks, which is the second-most in the Big 12 Conference.
Scouting the Mean Green
North Texas enters the weekend with a 18-16 record on the season. The Mean Green were selected by the Conference USA head coaches to finish the 2016 campaign in 10th place. Last year, North Texas ended the season with a 19-31 overall record and 11-12 C-USA record, finishing in seventh place in the regular-season standings and advancing to the Conference USA Tournament for the second-straight season. Four Mean Green softball letterwinners return from this past season: junior pitcher Stacey Underwood, junior infielder Kelli Schkade, senior catcher Bryana Wade and senior infielder Karly Williams, while adding 11 newcomers to this year’s team.
North Texas’ offense is hitting .301 on the season with five batting above .300. Schkade leads the offensive charge with a .423 clip and a team-high 12 home runs and 34 RBIs. She has posted a .847 slugging percentage and a .511 on-base percentage in 34 starts. The Mean Green pitching staff has registered a 3.88 ERA in 227 and one-thirds innings of work with 103 strikeouts and 59 walks. Junior Jessica Elder is 11-6 on the year in the circle with 40 strikeouts and seven shutouts in 15 starts. Junior Stacey Underwood leads the pitching staff with 53 K’s in 86 inning pitched.
The Series Breakdown
Kansas leads the all-time series against North Texas, 4-1. The Jayhawks won the first four meetings on the diamond before th Mean Green ended KU’s win streak in 2009 with a 5-2 victory over Kansas. The series began in 1988 and KU has outscored 32-9 in five contests. KU is 2-0 when playing the Mean Green in Lawrence.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets
Heading into the weekend, Georgia Tech is 14-21 on the year and 3-8 in Atlantic Coast Conference action. The Yellow Jackets returned six position starters and one pitcher from a year ago and added five newcomers to the squad. Georgia Tech returns its top three hitters to the plate this season in junior outfielder Samantha Pierannunzi, who led the team with a .306 average a year ago, senior infielder Maddie Lionberger and senior utility Courtney Ziese, who blasted a team-best seven home runs with 26 RBIs.
All three are among the top four hitters in 2016, however freshman utility Katie Krzus is batting a team-high .317. For the second year in a row, Ziese is leading the way for RBIs after plating 19 runs in 35 starts. Offensively, the Yellow Jackets are hitting .219 with 195 hits, including 49 extra-base hits, and 89 walks. Georgia Tech’s pitching staff has posted a 3.02 ERA with 178 strikeouts and 120 walks. Sophomore Emily Anderson is 9-13 in the circle with a team-high 114 strikeouts in 153 innings pitched.
The Series Breakdown
Kansas and Georgia Tech are set to meet for the sixth time in program history this weekend. The Yellow Jackets lead the series 3-2, which began in 1999. The Jayhawks lost the first three games against Georgia Tech, but Kansas ended the losing skid and has won the last two games. The last meeting between the two programs was last season, which resulted in a 4-2 Jayhawk victory. This weekend’s matchup marks the first time the Yellow Jackets will visit Lawrence.
Around the League
The Jayhawks are putting up impressive numbers during the 2016 season. Kansas is second in the Big 12 Conference in drawing walks with 118, has the second-best fielding percentage (.978), is second in home runs with 36, third in batters struck out with 167 and third in shutouts thrown with eight. Individually, senior infielder Chaley Brickey leads the Big 12 in walks (27) and has the second-best on-base percentage in the league (.508). In the circle, sophomore Andie Formby has posted the fourth-lowest ERA in the league (2.21). She is tied for first in shutouts (six) and fourth in wins (11) and is fourth in strikeouts (91).
Kansas returns to Big 12 Conference action hosting Texas Tech April 15-17 at Rock Chalk Park. The first game of the series is slated for Friday, April 15, at 5 p.m. Every pitch can be heard live on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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