Kansas softball had some struggles last weekend in Florida. They now have a 2-3 record, and this weekend’s tournament won't get much easier.
Beginning Friday, Kansas will play in the Fresno State Kickoff Classic tournament in Fresno, Calif. The Jayhawks will play UC Riverside, Fresno State and Sacramento State in a five-game slate.
Kansas opens the tournament Friday afternoon against UC Riverside. UC Riverside also has a 2-3 record and a pitching situation that is just as confusing as the Jayhawks'.
Kansas has struggled thus far and of the five pitchers who have appeared in games, sophomore Andie Formby seems to be the only standout. Formby has been the leader thus far with a 2.63 and opponents batting a .224 against her.
UC Riverside, on the other hand, has only had two pitchers pitch in their seven games this season. Pitcher Kaylynn Pierce has gotten the most opportunities at this point with 27.1 innings pitched and a 10.20 ERA.
Despite the Jayhawks’ pitching struggles, they should have an easier time against Sacramento State. The team as a whole is batting just .255 compared to Kansas’ .287 average. Sacramento State is currently at 2-2.
Fresno State’s successes, a 5-0 record and being ranked 22nd in the country, have been a combination of both offensive and defensive factors.
Pitcher Jill Compton was named NFCA Pitcher of the Week after going 3-0 with a 0.33 ERA. First baseman Lindsey Willmon was named Mountain West Player of the Week after going 7-for-15 with five RBIs in their last five games.
Kansas isn’t without its own award winner, however. After batting .588 with 10 RBIs and three home runs, sophomore first baseman Daniella Chavez was named Big 12 Player of the Week.
This weekend’s tournament will also be a chance to get a better idea of Kansas’ pitching. As mentioned before, Formby has been the leader.
There’s still room for improvement with junior pitcher Sophia Templin and freshman Alexis Reid, as they’ve accumulated a combined 14.2 innings but haven’t gotten much to show for it.
This upcoming tournament will be a good gauge for where the Jayhawks stand early in the season. Against their second ranked opponent, it won’t be easy.
— Edited by Samantha Harms