Kansas Returns to Big 12 Play, Hosts Red Raiders
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas softball continues its seven-game homestand with Texas Tech April 15-17 at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. After wrapping up non-conference action last weekend, the Jayhawks return to Big 12 play with a three-game series against the Red Raiders. First pitch of the series is slated for Friday, April 15 at 5 p.m., on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Around the Field
Kansas softball opens Big 12 Conference play at home with a weekend of fun events on tap at the ballpark. Friday is Tax Day with $5 admission for all fans. Kansas softball koozies will be given away to fans in attendance, while supplies last.
Saturday is Kansas’ annual ‘Jayhawks for a Cure’ game and all fans wearing orange or pink will receive $5 admission. Prior to first pitch there will be a silent auction with proceeds going to Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Center. Orange poms will be given out to fans, while supplies last.
The weekend concludes with Sunday Funday at the Ballpark. Fans can enjoy the fun zone prior to the game and $1 fudge bars. It is also Bark in the Park and dogs are admitted with a donation to the Lawrence Humane Society. Following the game kids can run the bases and get autographs. Sunday’s giveaway includes the third set of Kansas softball trading cards and a Bark in the Park frisbee.
Hitting Close to Home
Every year each Kansas program pays tribute survivors and victims of breast cancer with its annual ‘Jayhawks for a Cure’ game, donning pink instead of the usual Crimson and Blue. Four years ago, Kansas softball added orange to go along with pink to support a cause that hits close to home for the program. Orange is the color for kidney cancer awareness and in 2011 KU softball lost one of its own to the disease. Head coach Megan Smith’s husband, Paul Buske, lost his fight to kidney cancer in June of 2011. Since the 2013 season, Smith and the Jayhawks have raised awareness for kidney cancer with the annual orange game.
Leading Off for Kansas
- Kansas set a new attendance record on April 9 at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. The crowd of 1,240 marks the largest attendance record and the third sellout since the brand-new ballpark opened in 2015.
- This season at home, KU is 11-3 at Arrocha Ballpark and have won seven of its last eight home games, including four-straight home victories following last weekend’s four-game sweep.
- Last weekend, the Jayhawks outhit their opponent in all four games of the Kansas Round Robin. KU owns a 20-2 record when outhitting its opposition on the diamond.
- In each of the last four games, Kansas’ pitching staff has limited the opposing team to two runs or less. The Jayhawks have a 20-0 mark when giving up no more than two runs in a game.
- Kansas’ defense has recorded just 20 errors in 37 games for the second-best fielding percentage in the league (.980). KU has played 22 games this season without committing an error.
About the Jayhawks
The Jayhawks had a perfect 4-0 weekend to wrap up 2016 non-conference action. In the last four games, the Jayhawks recorded two shutouts and three run-rule victories, improving to 24-13 on the season. Over the weekend, Kansas outscored its opponents 35-3, including three games with 10 or more runs. The Jayhawk offense recorded 35 hits, averaging just over eight per game over the weekend, while the KU pitching staff limited the opposition to 17 hits, averaging just over four per game.
Offensively, KU recorded a .402 clip in four games with 35 hits, 11 for extra bases, and 16 walks. Over the last four games, the Jayhawks registered a .575 slugging percentage and .522 on-base percentage. Junior utility Lily Behrmann led the offensive charge with a .571 batting average. She recorded a team-best six runs and four walks while also tallying four hits and three RBIs. Senior Chaley Brickey and Shannon McGinley and sophomore Erin McGinley each led the squad with five hits over the weekend. Sophomore Daniella Chavez posted a team-best seven RBIs while Brickey and sophomore Jessie Roane each registered six runs batted in. On the season, Kansas is hitting .279 at the plate with 38 home runs and 134 walks. Four Jayhawk starters are batting above .300 this season.
In the circle, the Jayhawks threw a 0.95 ERA in 22 innings of work last weekend. In four games, Kansas’ pitching staff struck out 20 batters and limited the opposition to just two walks and three earned runs. Sophomore Andie Formby was 3-0 in the circle in three starts with two complete games and two shutouts. She recorded 12 strikeouts and a 0.44 ERA in 16 innings pitched. Formby has a 1.97 ERA on the season, the lowest on KU’s pitching staff, while striking out a team-best 103 batters. The Jayhawks’ pitching staff has a 2.61 ERA with 187 strikeouts and 81 walks.
Scouting the Red Raiders
Texas Tech enters the weekend having won five of its last seven contests, four of six matchups with Big 12 Conference foes. The Red Raiders are 19-21 on the season with a 4-2 mark in league action. After receiving 13 points in the preseason coaches poll, Texas Tech was selected to finish sixth in Big 12 play, however, the Red Raiders currently sit in second place.
At the plate, the Red Raiders are batting .279 on the season with 290 hits, including 103 hits for extra bases, and 118 walks. Four Texas Tech starters are hitting above .300 this season. Junior utility Kierra Miles leads the squad with .363 clip, 14 home runs, 10 doubles and 42 RBIs. In all, Miles leads TTU in eight offensive categories.
Junior right-hander Mattison Maisel has posted a team-low 4.11 ERA in 104 innings of work with 29 strikeouts and 31 walks. Maisel has a 6-6 mark in the circle with three complete games, a shutout and two saves. Sophomore right-hander Cheynne Powell owns a 7-5 mark and a 5.01 ERA in 81 innings pitched. Texas Tech’s pitching staff has registered a 4.99 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 124 walks.
The Series Breakdown
Kansas leads the all-time series against Texas Tech 31-21, which began in 1984 with a 4-2 Red Raider victory. TTU has won five of the last meetings against the Jayhawks. KU owns a 10-9 record against Texas Tech when playing in Lawrence, however the Red Raiders have won the last three contests on Kansas’ home field. This weekend’s series marks TTU’s first visit to Rock Chalk Park.
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 134, has the second-best fielding percentage (.980), is fourth in home runs with 38, fourth in batters struck out with 187 and third in shutouts thrown with 10. Individually, senior infielder Chaley Brickey leads the Big 12 in walks (29) and has the second-best on-base percentage in the league (.518). Sophomore infielder Daniella Chavez is tied for first in RBIs (42) and tied for third in home runs hit (9). In the circle, sophomore Andie Formby has posted the fourth-lowest ERA in the league (1.97). She is tied for first in shutouts (eight) and fourth in wins (14) and is fourth in strikeouts (103).
The Jayhawks begin a six-game road swing at Baylor April 22-24. Kansas’ three-game series against the Lady Bears begins on Friday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m. Every pitch can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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