KU softball heads to S.C. to face varied competition

Originally posted on Kansan.com on February 13th, 2014. Ran in February 13th, 2014 edition of the Kansan.

This weekend the Kansas Jayhawks head to Charleston, S.C., to participate in the College of Charleston Classic. Kansas faces five different opponents over the course of the tournament.

Kansas will play Fordham University in the first game of the tournament. Fordham went to the University of Central Florida Invitational back on Feb. 7, but the matchup between the Jayhawks and Fordham was canceled due to weather. Fordham went 2-1 in that tournament, defeating Chattanooga and LIU Brooklyn while falling to the host team UCF. Senior catcher Gabby Luety and junior pitcher Michele Daubman were named Atlantic 10 Conference player and pitcher of the week, respectively.

Rounding out the double-header for Kansas, the Jayhawks will take on Ole Miss. The Ole Miss team is coming off of a tournament hosted by Florida Gulf Coast. Its record for the season is 2-3. Two of its losses came in dramatic fashion, as the team lost to Western Kentucky and Florida Gulf Coast 3-2 in both games.

The Jayhawks will face Western Carolina in the tournament, which is West Carolina’s first tournament of the season. Last season, the Catamounts went 20-36. One of their postseason highlights was beating heavily favored College of Charleston in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament. Western Carolina sophomore first baseman Taylor Sigmon was named to the Southern Conference preseason second team. She led the team in home runs, RBIs and doubles last season.

The fourth game will be against the tournament host, College of Charleston. The Cougars are 0-2 on the season, despite having a 37-20 record last year. They return eight starters to this year’s Cougar squad.

The last team on the Jayhawks’ schedule for the weekend is DePaul University. The team is 3-2 on the season, coming off a tournament in Miami on Feb. 7. Senior pitcher Kirsten Verdun was named Big East Conference Pitcher of the Week this past week. Verdun posted a 0.64 ERA in her three starts while striking out 28 batters in 22 innings.

Over the past three seasons, Kansas hasn’t played any of these five teams, but is ready to take on the competition in South Carolina.

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