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Kansas Softball 2016 Midseason Report

Now that basketball is over, let's turn our attention to the diamond.

It's time to check in on the softball team and see how they're doing both as a team and individually.  The stats provided throughout are courtesy of either or, and are current as of games played through March 27.

The Jayhawks have nearly completed their non-conference schedule.  So far, Kansas is 19-10 on the year with an RPI of 50.  Kansas hasn't faced the same tough non-con they had last year, however, as they have only had five games against teams in the Top-25.  Unfortunately, the Jayhawks are 0-5 in those matchups.

Here is a look at some of the overall team statistics and where they rank compared with other Big 12 teams.  Remember, only 7 Big 12 teams participate in softball.

Category Stats Conf Rank
Avg .281 6th
HR 34 1st
BB 106 2nd
SO 133 5th
SB 10 7th
CS 2 1st
ERA 2.66 3rd
R 78 1st
ER 74 3rd
BB 68 1st
SO 153 3rd

Once again, the Kansas offense is producing, although they aren't getting on base at the same clip that they were last year.   They lead the league in home runs, they draw a lot of walks, and they don't strike out very often. About the only thing they don't do is steal bases, but when they do, they convert at an 83.33% clip.

Perhaps surprisingly, even considering the competition, the pitching staff has been very effective.  They lead the league in fewest runs allowed and in fewest walks given up.

Something else to keep an eye on that's not reflected in the stats above is that Kansas currently leads the Big 12 in fielding percentage.  The Jayhawks have only committed 12 errors in 29 games, good for a .985 fielding percentage.

A couple of things that stuck out to me while perusing the team stats:

- Oklahoma leads the league in batting average with a .371 clip.  The next closest is Baylor at .309.

- Texas and Baylor both seem to have the elite pitching in the conference this year.  They both have team ERAs under 2.25.

- Texas Tech looks to be especially bad this year, although I have no idea what kind of schedule they've played.  They are dead last - by a long shot - in most team batting, pitching, and fielding categories.

Individually, KU does have several position players in the Top 5 in several statistical categories:

- DH Briana Chavez leads the league in RBI (35) and is second in HR (9).

- SS Chaley Brickey leads the league in runs scored (29), doubles (11),  and BB (22).  She is fourth in HR with 7 while hitting .400 on the year.

- SP Andie Formby is second in the league in ERA at 1.50.  She is fourth in strikeouts with 81 and tied for second in wins with 18.

As of March 27, Big 12 teams in the Top 25 (per USA Today/NFCA Coaches) are #13 Oklahoma and #20 Baylor.  Texas is in the receiving votes category.

KU opens Big 12 play Friday, April 1, as they travel to Norman for a 3-game series with the Sooners.  The game on Sunday afternoon vs. Oklahoma will be televised on FSN.  You can also catch all KU softball games (home and away) on the Jayhawk Radio Network.