Friday, May 9, 2008

KU softball faces Nebraska today


— Kansas University may be only the No. 7 seed in the Big 12 Conference softball tournament, but the Jayhawks have an outside chance at earning an NCAA Tournament berth.

"I think we have to win at least one game in the league meet to get in," KU coach Tracy Bunge said.

The Jayhawks will open against No. 10 seed Nebraska at 5 p.m. today at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. If Kansas wins, it will meet No. 2 seed Oklahoma at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Despite their seventh-place finish in the Big 12 regular season, the Jayhawks' overall record of 37-18 is the fourth best among conference teams. Those 37 wins are the most by a KU team in 11 years.

Only Texas A&M;, Oklahoma and Missouri own better overall marks than the Jayhawks, and A&M; and Oklahoma are ranked No. 5 and No. 7 in the NFCA poll, respectively.

On offense, Kansas has been potent in posting the most runs, RBIs and walks since the 1980 team.

Junior outfielder Dougie McCaulley leads the Jayhawks with a .380 batting average, while junior third baseman Val Chapple paces the club in runs scored (39), RBIs (37), home runs (9) and stolen bases (12).

Junior right-hander Val George is the Jayhawks' top pitcher with an 18-10 record and a 1.91 earned run average. Against Big 12 foes, however, George was 4-8 with a 3.47 ERA.

KU's overall record in the Big 12 Tournament is 15-18. The Jayhawks won the championship in 2006 as a No. 6 seed.


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