Jayhawks' Fall Softball Slate Unveiled
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Eight newcomers, who comprise one of the best recruiting classes of the Megan Smith era, will get their first playing experience in a Kansas softball uniform in less than three weeks when the 2012 fall season gets underway.
The Jayhawks, after posting their second-straight 30-win season with a 31-20 mark in 2012, kicked off individual workouts on the field at Arrocha Ballpark in August. On Sept. 17, Smith will conduct her first team practice of the 2012-13 season.
"It's always exciting to get back to work and see them in action," Smith said. "We love the fall season because with that limited time, every minute with the team is so valuable. From the day we reported in August, we've heightened our focus on being competitive and devoting time to every pitch, every at bat, every detail that will make us better. Now we can implement those values into game situations without waiting until the spring."
The fall exhibition schedule provides a live-game environment that will help Smith and her coaching staff evaluate the team's progress throughout the early-season practices. This season, Smith is joined by a new pitching coach in assistant Abbie Sims and veteran assistant Adam Roorbach, who is entering his fourth season in Lawrence.
Although eight newcomers join the 2013 squad, the Jayhawks' are stacked with knowledgeable returners - including six starters - that have been working to prepare the rookies for what's ahead. Among the list of 11 returning players is senior outfielder Maggie Hull, an All-Big 12 First Team honoree and CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-American. Hull broke Kansas' season batting average record with a Big-12 best .409 batting average at the conclusion of the 2012 regular season.
Hull is joined by a pair of All-Big 12 Second Team members in Maddie Stein and Chanin Naudin as well as a long list of starters who are well-versed in prepping new faces to the standards of Jayhawk softball and what it takes to compete in the Big 12.
"We're very excited about this group," Smith said. "We have such a solid core of players coming back and then we're adding some newcomers that can flat-out play. We will be exciting to watch."
Kansas will kick off the fall slate against Independence County Community College on Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. The following Saturday, the Jayhawks will host the Kansas Fall Tournament on Sept. 29. They will face area schools Labette Community College, Washburn, Seminole State and Butler County Community College during the Saturday-Sunday tournament, Sept. 29-30.
On Oct. 3, KU is scheduled to square off against Baker University for a Thursday night game before wrapping up the fall with a game vs. Avila University on Oct. 15.
2012 FALL SOFTBALL SCHEDULE
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