COLUMBIA — The rivalry between Missouri and Kansas will take to the softball field today when the Jayhawks visit University Field. Neither team should need rely on the historic hate between the universities for motivation.
Both teams enter the 3 p.m. doubleheader 4-4 in Big 12 play. A sweep by either team would move it into third place in the conference standings.
Missouri’s four losses in league play have come against the Big 12’s top two teams, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, both of which have spent most of the season in the national top 10. Kansas, meanwhile, dropped two games at Oklahoma and split series with both Bayor and current third-place team Texas, two teams the Tigers have yet to play.
“We’re not letting up any,” MU second baseman Andee Allen said after her team’s sweep of Texas Tech this weekend. “We’re expecting a good game, always a good game against Kansas. There’s always a little bit extra because it’s the Border Rival, so it’s a little bit more exciting for us.”
First baseman Amanda Renth, who tied teamates Jen Bruck and Lindsey Ubrun for the Big 12 season lead with 14 home runs by hitting three against Texas Tech, said she expects close games.
“In my frist three years, Kansas always has great pitching and every game we play with them it’s two, three runs,” Renth said, noting MU’s two tight victories over the Jayhawks last season. “We’re going to have to squeak it out, get some runs on the board, and I think our pitchers are looking good and I think we’ve got a chance.”
Kansas is led by Valerie George who owns a 1.19 ERA, the third best by a Big 12 pitcher this season. George gave up one run in four innings last season against Missouri.
The cost of a ticket to the games has been reduced to $1 for MU students.
On Tuesday, the team announced that next week’s rescheduled doubleheader against the University of Missouri-Kansas City has been cancelled at UMKC’s request. The games were moved to April 20th after being rained out earlier this season.