Softball Opens Season at Arizona Pepsi Classic

Feb. 2, 2005

TUCSON, Ariz. –

The Jayhawks open their 37th season of competition Friday, Feb. 4, at the Pepsi Classic in Tucson, Ariz. Kansas will face Big 12 foe Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. (Central) in a non-conference match up and No. 2 Arizona at 6 p.m. Friday in the opening day of the tournament.

KU will play New Mexico State (10 a.m.) and Northwestern (noon) Saturday, and finish the weekend with a game against Tulsa at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Gametracker will be available for all contests in Arizona by visiting the Kansas softball schedule page.

Kansas Preview
The Jayhawks return 10 letterwinners to the squad in 2005, including seven starters and two veteran pitchers. Four newcomers — one lefty pitcher, a catcher and two outfielders — will make an immediate impact to the KU starting lineup.
Kansas finished 33-28-1 overall last season, including a 7-11 mark in the Big 12 Conference. The Jayhawks ended the season with a four-game run in the Big 12 Tournament, falling to eventual 2004 Women’s College World Series participant Oklahoma, 1-0.

KU Probable Starters
P – Kassie Humphreys (So./Glendale, Ariz.), Serena Settlemier (Jr./Kelso, Wash.), Christina Ross (Fr./Santa Clarita, Calif.)
C – Elle Pottorf (Fr./Topeka, Kan.)
1B – Nicole Washburn (So./O’Fallon, Mo.)
2B – Jessica Moppin (Jr./Olathe, Kan.)
SS – Destiny Frankenstein (Jr./Broken Arrow, Okla.)
3B – Nettie Fierros (Jr./Avondale, Ariz.)
RF – Heather Stanley (Jr./Houston, Texas)
CF – Jackie Vasquez (Fr./Tucson, Ariz.) or Cyndi Duran (Fr./Tucson, Ariz.)
LF – Ashley Frazer (Jr./Shawnee, Kan.)

Kansas Pitchers
Right-handed pitcher/designated player Serena Settlemier, who hit 11 home runs and pitched in eight games last season, is back on the mound in 2005 for the first time in two years. Now pain free and fully healed, Settlemier will return as a starter.
Settlemier is joined by sophomore righty Kassie Humphreys, who is coming off a 14-12 record and 1.57 ERA in her rookie campaign. Freshman hurler Christina Ross (Santa Clarita, Calif.-Valencia H.S.) is the first left-hander to be recruited by Bunge and will be an exciting addition to the pitching staff.
This year’s lone senior is right-hander Kathy McVey, who joined the Jayhawks in 2004 as a junior transfer from Trinity [Texas] University. Look for McVey to pitch some innings early in the year and to see action as a pinch runner.

The Infield
Junior shortstop Destiny Frankenstein, who led the Jayhawks with 17 stolen bases and a .263 batting average in 2004, will be once again looked upon to be the leader both offensive and defensively for KU.
Junior Nettie Fierros will return to third base for her third year and is capable of being a very solid part of the KU defense.
Junior Jessica Moppin returns as a more mature player for another solid season at second base. Moppin has worked hard defensively and will search for offensive consistency this season.
Returning to start at first base is sophomore Nicole Washburn. Washburn was impressive in her freshman campaign, hitting .246 and leading KU with nine doubles.
Junior Ashley Goodrich moves from the outfield to the infield in 2005. Goodrich will compete with Fierros for a starting spot at third base and will serve as the No. 2 catcher.
New behind the plate is freshman Elle Pottorf (Topeka-Washburn Rural H.S.), who will be the primary catcher for the Jayhawks this season. Pottorf also brings a powerful bat to the lineup and will be capable of hitting home runs and being a gap-power hitter.

The Outfield
Junior Heather Stanley, who led KU with a .277 batting average in Big 12 play last season, will start in right field and most likely be the lead-off hitter.
Junior Ashley Frazer is the top defensive player in the Jayhawk outfield. With improvement in her offensive game, Frazer will get a chance to start in left or right field in 2005.
Rounding out the outfield are freshman Jackie Vasquez (Tucson-Catalina Foothills H.S.) and Cyndi Duran (Tucson-Flowing Wells H.S.), who both bring speed and versatility to the 2005 lineup. Both have great range in the outfield and could start in center or left field.

The Coaching Staff
Tracy Bunge, a former Jayhawk pitcher and All-American in 1986, begins her ninth season as head coach at her alma mater. Bunge holds a 251-221-1 record at KU and career coaching mark of 343-288-1. She is joined by first-year assistant Jen Sewell (Ohio, 2000) and All-American outfielder Christi Musser (Kansas, 2003), who returns for her second season on Bunge’s staff.

Kansas in Season Openers
The Jayhawks are 15-12 all-time in season openers since such school records have been kept. KU last won its season opener on Feb. 7, 2003 (KU 2, Mississippi 1).

Jayhawks vs. Pepsi Classic Opponents All-Time
Oklahoma State OSU leads 52-32
Arizona UA leads 10-3
New Mexico State KU leads 9-7
Northwestern NU leads 5-2
Tulsa KU leads 5-2

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