Jayhawks Open 2006 Season in Houston

Feb. 9, 2006


First Pitch
Kansas softball opens its 38th season of competition Friday at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational in Houston, Texas. The Jayhawks will face Florida, Oregon, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and host Houston in the three-day event at the Cougar Softball Stadium. The tournament is the first of four straight road trips to open the 2006 season. KU is slated to play 60 regular-season games this year with only 22 of those contests in Lawrence. The Jayhawks, picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 Conference this season, will play 20 games away from home before opening at Arrocha Ballpark against Missouri State on March 8.

Live Gametracker for all of KU’s 60 games will be available again this season.

Wilson/Demarini Invitational (Houston, Texas)
Friday, Feb. 10 — vs. Florida (10 a.m.), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2 p.m.)
Saturday, Feb. 11 — at Houston (4 p.m.), vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (6 p.m.)
Sunday, Feb. 12 — vs. Oregon (10 a.m.)


Florida… The Gators and Jayhawks will meet in the teams’ first contest of the 2006 season. KU won the only other meeting between the schools, 4-0, on March 1, 1997. Florida, which returns 14 letterwinners from its 2005 NCAA Tournament team, is led by first-year head coach Tim Walton.

Houston… Houston hopes for warm weather as it hosts the first tournament of the season at the Cougar Softball Stadium. The Cougars finished 30-28 overall last season under head coach Kyla Holas and will be without eight seniors from last year’s squad. Saturday’s meeting is the first between Kansas and UH in softball.

Oregon… The Ducks will also fly south to start their season in the warmer Houston weather. Oregon returns 13 veterans to its 36-25 squad that just narrowly missed making the NCAA Super Regionals last season (2-2). The all-time series between the schools sits at 6-2 in favor of Oregon. Kathy Arendsen is 115-65 as head coach of the Ducks.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi… The Islanders posted an impressive 42-11 record last season and represented the Big South in the NCAA Regional field. First-year head coach Dawn Wuthrich has eight letterwinners returning. KU will meet the Islanders twice in the tournament with Friday’s contest marking the first between the two schools.

Kansas Quick Hits
-Kansas returns eight letterwinners and seven starters in 2006, including four All-Big 12 selections in Destiny Frankenstein (Sr., SS), Jessica Moppin (Sr., 2B), Heather Stanley (Sr., OF) and Serena Settlemier (Sr., P/DP).
-The Jayhawks broke two program records last season when they hit 54 home runs and boasted a .973 fielding percentage.
-KU’s .973 fielding percentage ranked second in the Big 12 (behind Texas) and 14th in the nation.
-Senior second baseman Jessica Moppin is KU’s all-time home runs leader with 24 for her career. Fellow seniors Serena Settlemier (fourth-22 HRs), Destiny Frankenstein (fifth-21 HRs) and Nettie Fierros (sixth-15 HRs) also rank in KU’s career Top 10.
-Head coach Tracy Bunge is just 18 wins away from her 300th victory at Kansas and 26 away from her 400th career victory.
-KU has made nine appearances in the NCAA Regionals in the past 25 years (most recently in 2005) and three times under Bunge.

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