Kansas softball gears up for South Florida’s Under Armour Classic

Originally posted on Kansan.com on March 5th, 2014. Ran in Kansan on March 6th, 2014.

Kansas (11-6) is on the road once more before they host its home opener next week. This weekend, Kansas heads to Tampa, Fla., to partake in South Florida’s Under Armour Classic.

First up for Kansas is Northwestern (11-4) on Friday. The last time the Jayhawks and the Wildcats met was in 2009 at the Kajikawa Classic. Kansas won the high scoring affair 8-7. Unlike Kansas, Northwestern has met several ranked opponents this season. Northwestern has played Stanford, LSU, South Alabama, Washington, Baylor and defending national champions Oklahoma. All four of their losses come from ranked opponents (Stanford, LSU, Oklahoma and Baylor). Northwestern is just outside of the top 25, sitting 29th in the country.

In the second game of the tournament, Kansas faces host team South Florida (16-5).  The last time the Bulls and the Jayhawks played each other was in 1999 at the South Florida Gladstone Tournament. South Florida won the game 2-0.  South Florida has also played ranked opponents. They’ve played against Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Louisiana-Lafayette and Stanford. Like Northwestern, South Florida also sits just outside the top 25; South Florida would be ranked 30th nationally.

On the second day of competition, Kansas faces St. John’s (5-9). Kansas and St. John’s haven’t played one another in at least the past ten years. Before taking on Kansas, St. John’s plays the Dutch National Team in an exhibition game. The Dutch are the defending European Champions.

Following the St. John’s matchup, Kansas takes on Utah (7-5). The Utes and the Jayhawks last faced off in 2004, with the Jayhawks winning the game 2-1. The Utes will be coming off of a short rest period, due to their home opener tournament drawing to a close on Wednesday.

Kansas plays one game on the third day of competition. Kansas faces LIU Brooklyn (6-13). The Jayhawks were slated to play the Blackbirds in the first tournament of the season, but was rained out.

First pitch for Kansas takes place on Friday at 10:45 a.m. against Northwestern.

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