KU Season Outlook: New Faces In the Outfield
Feb. 2, 2007
New Faces in the Outfield
Like the middle infield, the Kansas outfield will also consist of a few new faces. The lone returner is junior Betsy Wilson (Salina, Kan.), who will anchor the defense in center field.
“Betsy, who played infield most of her career, finally feels at home in the outfield and will do a great job for us defensively,” head coach Tracy Bunge explained.
Dougie McCaulley (Victorville, Calif.) will start in right field after making the move from the middle infield. An NFCA Junior College All-American as a freshman, McCaulley’s strength is her offense. The lefty slapper will most likely hit in the lead-off spot.
“Dougie manages to go deep in the count and get on base very often,” Bunge said. “She is a gamer and raises her game up in big situations. I’m eager to see what she can do early in the season and later on in Big 12 competition.”
Perhaps the biggest pleasant surprise of the freshman class is Ally Stanton (Oakville, Mo.). Stanton, who will play left field, joined the team as a walk-on and is quickly making the adjustment from the infield.
“Ally works harder than anyone else,” Bunge commented. “The coaching staff absolutely loves her attitude and she just wants to help the team. She easily made the switch to outfield, has a strong arm, and I am really expecting her to help us defensively out there.”
Battling for playing time in right field is freshman Tracy Lubken (Scottsdale, Ariz.).
“Tracy is a lefty slapper who with hard work, can find herself in the lineup,” Bunge added.
About the Jayhawks
Coming off its first-ever Big 12 Conference Postseason Championship and second-straight NCAA Regionals bid, Kansas softball is no stranger to recent success. However, with six departed seniors — including All-American Serena Settlemier — and eight newcomers, the Jayhawks will have a new look in 2007.
KU opens the season Feb. 8 at the Campbell-Cartier Classic in a warmer San Diego, Calif.The Jayhawks return 10 letterwinners this season, which consist of six underclassmen, two juniors and two seniors. KU’s top returner, senior pitcher Kassie Humphreys (Glendale, Ariz.), had a breakthrough season in 2006 and comes back as one of the top hurlers in the Big 12.
“It’s going to be fun to watch this group evolve,” Bunge said. “They have great chemistry. Our strength is going to be our pitching staff and we are very solid at that position.”
Coming soon: Back In the Lineup, Jayhawk Coaches & The 2007 Schedule