Riddle: How can eight Kansas University senior softball players have only six surnames?
Answer: Two sets of identical twins Shelly and Christi Musser and Kelly and Katie Campbell will be among the KU seniors playing their last home games today at Jayhawk Field.
The Campbells, the Mussers and four other seniors will be recognized between games of today's noon doubleheader with Iowa State. Saturday's single game was rained out, necessitating today's twinbill.
"It doesn't really feel like it will be our last games right now," Shelly Musser said Saturday.
Although the Jayhawks will wind up at home today, they'll be playing in the Big 12 Conference postseason tournament next week in Oklahoma City. And they have an outside chance at an NCAA Tournament bid.
Shelly and Christi Musser have been KU outfield mainstays since arriving here from Scottsdale, Ariz., four years ago. Shelly has made the All-Big 12 team three times, but Christi is the Jayhawks' leading candidate for all-league honors this spring.
Christi's .367 average ranks fourth among conference hitters. The Jayhawks' left fielder is also listed in the league's top 10 in hits, total bases, home runs and slugging percentage.
Shelly, who plays center field, ranks high on KU's career charts. She is second in stolen bases, fourth in runs scored and fifth in hits.
Meanwhile, this is the third year for the Campbells at Kansas. They transferred to Mount Oread after spending their freshman seasons at Northwestern.
"We have a cousin who goes to KU and she kept telling us to visit," Kelly Campbell said. "So we did, and we liked it."
Kelly is a pitcher, while Katie plays catcher or designated player. Kelly has appeared in 15 of the Jayhawks' 52 games and has posted a 3-2 record with a 1.58 earned run average. Katie is batting just .202, but has six doubles and four home runs.
All of the Kansas softball twins will be living in Lawrence next season, but only one set will be living together. Both Campbells are studying high school health and physical education and have another year of school remaining.
The Mussers, however, are in different curricula. Shelly will be studying nursing at the KU Medical Center this fall, while Christi, a sports management major, will intern with the KU softball team.
In order to be closer to Kansas City, Shelly will move to a house on Lawrence's eastern fringe and room with Amy Hulse, another senior who will be finishing work on a human biology and psychology degree during the next school year. Christi will live closer to campus.
The other seniors bowing out today are catcher-outfielder Leah Tabb, third baseman Megan Urquhart and shortstop Courtney Wright.
Tabb, who hit only .238 before league play began, has the highest batting average (.375) among all Big 12 players in league games.
A Putnam City, Okla., native, Tabb also needs one home run to share the school career home run record. Lawrence High product Shannon Stanwix owns the mark with 23. Tabb has 22, including five this season.
This Kansas team already holds the school single-season home run record with 30. The old mark was 26 by last year's team. Christi Musser has the most round-trippers with eight.