Softball hosts midweek tilt with SIUE
Beginning in August 2017, fans will be allowed to bring only one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon, clear, resealable plastic storage bag per person inside Kansas athletics events.
Fans will also be allowed a small clutch purse not to exceed 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches.
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas softball will host seven of its next eight games at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park beginning Wednesday with a 3 p.m. first pitch against the University of Southern Illinois – Edwardsville.
|GAME 34: vs. SIUE|
|Lawrence, Kan. (Arrocha Ballpark at RCP)|
|Wednesday, March 28|
AT THE BALLPARK
• Free Koozie giveaway.
• Weekday Work Perk: $5 ticket with business card.
• Jay Day: $2 hot dogs, $2 popcorn, $1 fudge bars.
FOLLOW THE JAYHAWKS
Live coverage of Wednesday’s game will be available to watch online via KUAthletics.com/watch or listen online at KUAthletics.com/radio. The video stream will be produced by KU’s School of Journalism with the voice of Kansas softball Nick Springer providing play-by-play.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST
Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 59 degrees. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph.
LAST TIME OUT
During a five-game road swing in Texas during KU’s spring break, Kansas split a doubleheader with University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio and was swept by Texas in a three-game series to open Big 12 play in Austin. Kansas extended its winning streak to four games, including three-straight shutout victories, before losing the next four to end the week.
SERIES SUMMARY: SIUE
Kansas leads the all-time series with SIUE, 3-1. The Cougars won the last meeting of the series on March 22, 2017 in Edwardsville, Illinois. The Jayhawks’ offense will be looking for redemption after SIUE’s Haley Chambers-Book threw a perfect game through six innings during the 7-1 victory for the Cougars last season. The last and only time SIUE came to Lawrence, KU won a 6-4 decision on April 22, 2015 at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park.
SIUE (11-9) was picked to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason coaches poll after finishing the 2017 season with a 41-13 overall record. Sandy Montgomery is in her 30th season as head coach at her alma mater, including all 10 seasons the program has competed at the NCAA Division I level (since 2009). The Cougars won the NCAA Division II national title in 2007.
MARCH: KIDNEY CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
March marks the beginning of Kidney Cancer Awareness Month. Kansas head coach Megan Smith has been deeply effected by the disease, losing her husband, Paul Buske, to kidney cancer in June 2011. Kansas has played an annual Orange Game in his memory and to draw awareness to kidney cancer. This season’s Orange Game will be March 31 against Colorado State. Orange is the official color for kidney cancer awareness.
Entering the eighth week of the regular season, Kansas ranks 12th in the nation in fielding percentage (.978). The Jayhawks have just 21 errors through the first 33 games of the season. KU’s season-long eight-game errorless streak lasted from Feb. 17 to Feb. 27. Three Jayhawks have over 40 fielding chances and remain errorless this season — senior catcher Harli Ridling, freshman utility Tarin Travieso and freshman centerfielder Brittany Jackson.
Kansas is on pace to shatter a program record for doubles in a season. Through 33 games this season, the Jayhawks have 55 doubles (1.67 per game). KU’s 1.67 doubles per game is a program high and ranks 13th in the nation. The next-highest doubles per game average for KU is 1.46 in 2013. Four Jayhawks rank top-six in the Big 12 in total two-base knocks led by senior Jessie Roane (12), sophomore Sam Dellinger (10), senior Harli Ridling (nine) and senior Erin McGinley (nine).
Roane is also climbing the charts on KU’s career doubles list, entering the week with the sixth-most in program history (47). Ridling isn’t far behind with 32 career doubles.
On Feb. 25, Kansas totaled six doubles during 10-2 victory over Coppin State for the most doubles by a Big 12 team in a game this season and the third-most of all NCAA Division I teams in 2018.
KU totals 25 home runs through the first 33 games of the season led by four Jayhawks with at least four homers — Shelby Gayre (five), Harli Ridling (five), Tarin Travieso (four) and Jessie Roane (four). Kansas ranks 71st in the nation and third in the Big 12 in home runs per game (0.76).
The Jayhawks have a season-high three homers against Missouri State (Feb. 18) and a pair of round-trippers during an 8-7 road win at North Carolina (March 3).
The first 20 games of the 2018 season marked the third-best start for the Jayhawks since the Big 12 era began in 1996. KU’s 17 wins through the first 20 games tied with the 2011 season (17-3) and trails only the 2012 (18-2) and 2015 (19-1) seasons for the best 20-game start in the Big 12 era. The top four 20-game starts since 1996 have come under head coach Megan Smith‘s watch, whose first season at KU was 2010. With one more win, Kansas will match the total number of wins last season (24-28).
Kansas is 7-1 in one-run games and 4-0 in extra-inning contests this season.
Kansas hosts a three-game series against Colorado State, March 30-31, at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. Friday, March 30, will be a doubleheader against the Rams during Public Safety Day. Saturday, March 31, will be the annual Orange Game benefiting Jayhawks for a Cure and kidney cancer awareness.