KU Heads to Vegas For Louisville Slugger Desert Classic

Feb. 16, 2006


First Pitch
Kansas softball (2-2) continues its month-long road stint this weekend at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. The Jayhawks will face Central Michigan, Cal Poly, BYU, #4 Tennessee and host UNLV in the three-day event at Eller Media Stadium and the Stephanie Lynn Craig Softball Complex. The tournament is the second of four 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 this season.


BYU… The Cougars are 4-1 on the season after a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, last weekend. BYU defeated Texas-Arlington, host Hawai’i, Loyola Marymount and Southern Miss and lost to Texas State (6-4) when the Bobcats scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Jodi Norton leads the BYU offense with a .500 batting average, six hits and three home runs through five games. Summer Tobias is the Cougars’ No. 1 pitcher this season and is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in 19.0 innings of work. Daniella Urincho (1-1) is posting a 0.55 ERA through 12.2 innings.

Cal Poly… The Mustangs (1-4) had a tough start to their season, facing #2 UCLA, Cal, Sacramento State, San Diego State, and Oklahoma State last weekend in a San Diego tournament. Cal Poly defeated OSU, 16-12, after scoring 12 runs in the last two innings to come back from a 11-4 deficit. Outfielder Kelly Comstock leads the Mustangs at the plate with a .412 batting average and seven hits. Robyn Contra (1-2) is Cal Poly’s top hurler this season and holds a 5.03 ERA through 19.2 innings in the circle.

Central Michigan… The Chippewas (0-0) open their season against KU Friday. CMU, favored to win the Mid-American Conference this season, returns 13 letterwinners and nine starters from last year’s team that finished 29-16 overall and 16-6 in the league. The Chippewas won the 2005 MAC West Division title and advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament. Headlining the returnees are three All-MAC performers, including a pair of first team selections in junior pitcher Jill DeRoche and sophomore third baseman Amy Hudson.

Tennessee… The fourth-ranked Vols started their season 3-0 after a defeating Coastal Carolina (8-0, 10-4) and Illinois State (1-0) in a round robin at Conway, S.C., last weekend. All-American pitcher Monica Abbott went 2-0, gave up just one hit and struck out 28 batters through 13 innings. Seven Tennessee hitters are batting .300 or better with Sarah Fekete leading the way with at a .600 clip in 10 at-bats. The Vols finished 67-15 last season and went 8-2 in postseason play in route to the 2005 NCAA College World Series.

UNLV… The Rebels (4-2) enjoyed the comforts of their home stadium last weekend, hosting the Alexis Park Resort Classic. UNLV posted wins over Kentucky, Illinois Chicago and Southern Utah and fell to #9 Oklahoma and #13 Washington in the tournament. Three UNLV pitchers saw action in the tournament with Christi Robinson (10.1 innings) and Shannon Crisp (16.1 innings) each coming away with two victories. Catcher Maggie Livreri leads the Rebel offense with a .429 batting average through six games.

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 25 for her career. Fellow seniors Serena Settlemier (second-24 HRs), Destiny Frankenstein (third-23 HRs) and Nettie Fierros (sixth-15 HRs) also rank in KU’s career Top 10.
-Head coach Tracy Bunge is just 16 wins away from her 300th victory at Kansas and 24 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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