Ames, Iowa The scenario is simple for Kansas University's softball team this weekend.
"We have to win two games. Period," KU coach Tracy Bunge said.
If the Jayhawks don't knock off Iowa State today and Sunday, they won't earn one of the coveted top six seeds in next week's Big 12 Conference Tournament in Oklahoma City.
Seeds seven through 10 must participate in play-in games that are tantamount to early elimination. The top six seeds earn a first-round bye.
Game times are 2 p.m. today and noon Sunday at ISU's softball facility.
Iowa State, 18-29 overall and 3-13 in league games, is doomed to a play-in game, but Kansas, 28-20 overall and 7-8 in the Big 12, can improve its status.
"This is a very big weekend for us," Bunge said. "Iowa State is playing much better. It's no gimme. We have our work cut out."
Kansas was riding an eight-game win streak until Missouri ended it Wednesday with a 3-0 triumph in the Jayhawks' home finale. The defeat also ended a streak of 34 straight games in which the Jayhawks had scored at least one run.
"We're not going to let this set us back," KU shortstop Destiny Frankenstein said after the MU loss. "We look for Iowa State to play hard, but we're committed."
Frankenstein leads the Jayhawks in batting average (.353), runs (35), hits (48), home runs (13) and bases on balls (22). As a team, KU is hitting .276 and already has slugged a school-record 50 home runs.
Bunge does not reveal her starting pitcher until game day, but she likely will use both junior right-hander Serena Settlemier (12-8, 2.65 earned-run average) and freshman left-hander Christina Ross (11-6, 1.66 ERA) against the Cyclones.