April 3, 2008
LAWRENCE, Kan. -
Softball Returns To Conference Play At Baylor This Weekend
Kansas softball (28-9, 2-2 Big 12) returns to Big 12 Conference action and continues its six-game road trip this weekend, April 5-6, in Waco, Texas in a two-game series with Baylor. First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 4 p.m., while Sunday's contest is slated to begin at noon.
After splitting a doubleheader with Creighton Wednesday afternoon, the Kansas softball team takes a 28-9 overall record into this weekend's games winning five of its last six games and seven of its last 10. Junior Dougie McCaulley has been the team's most consistent offensive performer as she boasts a .395 batting average, good enough for third in the Big 12, and ranks third in the conference with her team-leading 45 hits. In addition to McCaulley's steady numbers, junior Stevie Crisosto and senior Betsy Wilson have come on strong for the Jayhawks as of late hitting .474 and .348, respectively, in the last 10 games. Wilson is third on the team with 18 RBIs (one of six Jayhawks with over 15 RBIs) having collected nine in the last five games alone. Crisosto leads the squad with 26 walks, which ranks third in the conference and adds 15 runs batted in. Junior third baseman Val Chapple is tops on the team with 22 RBIs and shares a team-best six home runs with sophomore Amanda Jobe. From the circle, Kansas is fourth in the Big 12 with a 1.90 team ERA led by junior Val George (1.19 ERA) who is third among conference pitchers. George has 123 strikeout in 112.0 innings of work and is 14-3 in 25 appearances. She is in the top five of six Big 12 pitching categories. Sophomore Sarah Vertelka (2.13 ERA) shares the starting nod and is 9-4 in 19 appearances. Freshman Allie Clark (5-2, 3.00 ERA) rounds out the Kansas battery.
Kansas leads the all-time series with the Bears, 20-13, dating back to their first meeting in 1981. Despite KU's edge in the Baylor series, the Jayhawks have won just two times in the teams' last 10 meetings. Kansas' last victory in Waco occurred on April 8, 2006, in 11 innings and prior to that it was March 23, 2002.
Since the release of the seaon's first RPI rankings on March 28, Kansas has moved up from a No. 44 RPI ranking to No. 35 out of 283 Division I softball programs in the latest release on April 3. The Jayhawks also ranked 18th with a .771 winning percentage.
The Jayhawks have recorded at least one home run in four of its last six contests and multiple homers in three of those contests. On the season, KU has tallied eight games with multiple round trippers.
With a 95-123 all-time record in Big 12 play, Kansas is just five league victories away from reaching the 100-win plateau.
The Jayhawks wrap up their six-game road trip in Fayetteville, Ark., on April 10. A doubleheader is scheduled with the Lady Razorbacks at 3 p.m. From there, Kansas returns to Big 12 play at Arrocha Ballpark, April 12-13, when they host Texas for a two-game series. Saturday's contest is set for 1 p.m. and Sunday's first pitch is scheduled for noon.