Jayhawks Head to Palm Springs Classic

Feb. 23, 2006


Kansas softball (4-5) continues its month-long road stint this weekend at the Palm Springs Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. The Jayhawks will face five California teams — Fresno State, Cal State Fullerton, #3 UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and Pacific — in the three-day event at the Big League Dreams Complex. The tournament is the Jayhawks’ third 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 may be available for selected games.

-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).
-Settlemier and Frankenstein lead the Big 12 in home runs this season with five and six, respectively. The duo is also tied for the KU all-time record with 27 career home runs. Moppin (25 – third) and senior Nettie Fierros (sixth – 15 HRs) also rank in KU’s career Top 10.
-KU leads the Big 12 with 13 in home runs in 2006.
-Head coach Tracy Bunge is just 14 wins away from her 300th victory at Kansas and 22 away from her 400th career victory.
-KU has made nine trips to the NCAA Regionals in the last 25 years and gone three times under Bunge in the past nine seasons (most recently in 2005).
-The Jayhawks broke two program records last season when they hit 54 home runs and boasted a .973 fielding percentage.

CAL STATE FULLERTON… The Titans are 5-5 after a 3-2 showing in Las Vegas last weekend with wins over Utah State, Notre Dame and Cal. Right fielder Jenna Wheeler leads the Titan offense with a .357 batting average and is one of four Titans hitting .300 or better through 10 games. Candice Baker (4-1) leads a CSF pitching staff of four. Baker holds a team-best 2.57 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 30.0 innings of work. Fullerton is receiving votes in both national polls. The Jayhawks and Titans met last season in Palm Springs with KU prevailing, 3-2, in eight innings.

FRESNO STATE… The Bulldogs (4-5) are looking stop a two-game skid after doubleheader losses to #3 UCLA last week. Shortstop Christina Clark paces the FSU offense with a .429 batting average, 10 walks and nine hits this season. Fresno State hitters have been held to a .214 clip through nine games, but four Bulldogs are batting .310 or better. Robin Mackin (4-3) handles the majority of the pitching duties for FSU and has a 1.78 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 43.1 innings. Fresno State is ranked 23rd in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll and is receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll. KU has not met the Bulldogs since Feb. 11, 2000 (FSU won 10-0).

PACIFIC… The Tigers are 3-6 on the season and looking to stop a three-game skid. Pacific fell to top-ranked Arizona, Missouri and Tennessee Tech last weekend in Tucson, Ariz., and is 1-3 in neutral-site games in 2006. Centerfielder Gina Carbonatto is hitting a hot .531 with 17 hits in 32 at-bats this season to lead the Tiger offense (.266). Five Tigers have made appearances in the circle this season. Alyce Jorgensen (1-2) holds the team’s best ERA (2.14) and is holding opponents to a .211 batting average through 16.1 innings. Chelsea Engle (1-2) leads the hurlers with 22 Ks in 20 innings. Pacific won its last meeting against KU, 3-2, on March 21, 1997.

UCLA… The third-ranked Bruins (8-1) have won three straight and have allowed just eight runs in nine games this season. UCLA finished second in the nation in 2005, falling to Michigan in the Women’s College World Series Finals. Bruins ace Anjelica Selden (4-1) has an impressive 65 strikeouts and 0.00 ERA in 31 innings and is holding opponents to a .065 batting average. Lisa Dodd (4-0) has a 1.21 ERA and 23 Ks through 22 innings of work. Catcher Emily Zaplatosch leads the UCLA offense with a .483 batting average, 14 hits and 19 total bases. UCLA has been ranked in the top five in both national polls this season. The Bruins have won all six of their meetings with the Jayhawks (last game was Feb. 16, 2001, 15-1).

UCSB… The Gauchos are 5-2 this season (3-2 in neutral-site games) and riding a three-game win streak (Rider, San Diego State, Oklahoma State). Centerfielder Kendra Singley lead the UCSB offense with a sizzling .500 batting average and 12 hits through seven games. Three other Gauchos are hitting .310 or better for an offense batting .266 as a whole. Jennifer Davis (4-1) leads the UCSB hurlers with a 2.12 ERA, 38 strikeouts and .256 opponent batting average in 33 innings. The Jayhawks and Gauchos have met just once before on Feb. 21, 2003 — UCSB won, 2-1.

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