KU Hosts 2006 Jayhawk Classic

March 9, 2006


Kansas softball will look for a second tournament crown this weekend when it hosts Minnesota, Eastern Michigan and Portland State in the 2006 Jayhawk Classic. KU (11-10) opened its home season Wednesday with a doubleheader sweep of Missouri State at Arrocha Ballpark. The Jayhawks have won six of their last seven games, including a 4-1 showing at the Best Western Airport Festival in Tulsa, Okla., to win their first tournament title of the season. The Jayhawks, who are picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 Conference this season, are slated to play 59 regular-season games this year with only 22 of those contests in Lawrence.

Live Gametracker will be available for all KU games.


Friday, March 10
10 a.m. Eastern Michigan vs. Portland State
Noon Minnesota vs. Portland State
2 p.m. Kansas vs. Eastern Michigan
4 p.m. Kansas vs. Minnesota

Saturday, March 11
10 a.m. Minnesota vs. Portland State
Noon Minnesota vs. Eastern Michigan
2 p.m. Kansas vs. Portland State
4 p.m. Kansas vs. Eastern Michigan

Sunday, March 12
10 a.m. Portland State vs. Eastern Michigan
Noon Kansas vs. Minnesota

-Kansas returns eight letterwinners and six 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).
-Three positions in the starting lineup are filled by freshmen — Val Chapple (3B), Erika Simington (C) and Stevie Crisosto (1B/OF).
-Settlemier holds the KU all-time home runs record with 31. Frankenstein is close behind with 30 for her career while Moppin (27) and senior Nettie Fierros (15) also rank in KU’s career Top 10.
-Head coach Tracy Bunge is just seven wins away from her 300th victory at Kansas and 15 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.


EASTERN MICHIGAN… The Eagles are 5-11 on the season and looking to stop a two-game skid this weekend in Lawrence. EMU’s leadoff hitter, junior shortstop Lauren Clark, is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak and currently leads the team with a .346 batting average. Clark finished the week with a .310 batting average, going 9-for-29 at the plate. Five Eagles make up the pitching staff, with Aimee Woodrum (0-3) leading the way with a 2.84 ERA through 32 innings. Michelle Lloyd (3.72 ERA) leads the team in wins with two and strikeouts with 29 in 32 innings of work. The Eagles are 0-10 this season when they score two runs or less in a game but 5-1 when they scores three or more runs. Kansas and EMU have never met in softball.

PORTLAND STATE… Portland State is 8-7 on the season and has won eight of its last 10 games. Despite an 0-5 start, the Viks reeled off six straight wins and have claimed victories over Purdue, Illinois, Virginia Tech and Nevada this season. Utility player Jackie Heide was named the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Player of the Week after hitting .412, going 7-for-17 at the plate with one home run and five RBI last weekend at the UNLV Invitational. Outfielder Laura Segall leads the Vikings with a .435 batting average, 20 hits and seven stolen bases on the season. Mandy Hill (6-3) and Michelle Hext (2-3) handle the majority of the pitching duties for PSU. Hill has a team-best 55 strikeouts and 2.13 ERA through 69 innings and has held batters to a .255 clip. Hext has thrown 31 innings, striking out 26 and posting a 4.06 ERA. KU is 3-0 against the Vikings.

MINNESOTA… The Golden Gophers (8-9) are 8-4 in their last 12 games and coming off a 4-1 performance at the Buzz Classic in Atlanta, Ga., last weekend. Minnesota went 4-0 in pool play to earn the No. 1 seed in the 25-team tournament, but was defeated by Radford, 3-2, in the quarterfinals Sunday. All-Big Ten catcher Megan Higginbotham ranks second in the league with a .447 batting average and has 21 hits in 17 games this season. Briana Haslett (3-6) has thrown a team-high 55 innings this season and has 55 strikeouts and a 2.04 ERA in 12 appearances. Minnesota will not play at home until April 21 following a stretch of 43 road games. Co-head coach Lisa Bernstein is just four wins shy of 500 and could reach the milestone this weekend. Minnesota is 5-9 all-time against Kansas, including an 0-3 record in Lawrence.

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