Jayhawks Head To Hawaii

March 15, 2006

HONOLULU, Hawaii –

Kansas softball will play its final non-conference tournament this weekend at the Bank of Hawaii Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii. KU (13-12) will face #16 Northwestern, Longwood, Big 12 foe Oklahoma State, San Diego State and host Hawai’i in the three-day event. The Jayhawks have won eight of their last 11 games and will open league play when they return from Hawaii, March 25-26 at Texas A&M. The Jayhawks, who are picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 Conference this season, are slated to play 58 regular-season games this year with only 22 of those contests in Lawrence.

Live Gametracker will be available for all KU games.

-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 32. Frankenstein is close behind with 30 for her career while Moppin (28) and senior Nettie Fierros (15) also rank in KU’s career Top 10.
-Head coach Tracy Bunge is just five wins away from her 300th victory at Kansas and 13 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. KU already has 28 homers through 25 games this season


HAWAI’I… Despite having much of their Hawaiian Airlines Spring Fling Tournament rained out last weekend, the Rainbow Wahine (12-10) have won three of their last five and are enjoying their fourth home series in the Bank of Hawaii Invitational this week. Hawai’i is led by first baseman Tyleen Tausaga, who has a team-best 23 hits and .371 batting average in 21 starts this season. A total of five Wahine are hitting above .338 for an offense batting .287 as a squad. Justine Smethhurst (5-5) handles the majority of the pitching duties for UH and has a 2.69 ERA and 49 strikeouts through 65.0 innings. Courtney Baughman (4-2) and Jessica Morton (2-2) have a combined 58.2 innings between them and contribute to UH’s 3.10 team ERA. KU is 2-1 against the Wahine.

LONGWOOD… The Lancers (10-11) stopped a four-game skid Saturday with a 4-0 win over Detroit Mercy in its final game of the Hawaiian Airlines Spring Fling Tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii, last week. Longwood, located in Farmville, Va., arrived in Hawaii March 7 and will remain on the island until the conclusion of the Bank of Hawaii Invitational March 18. Centerfielder Caitlin Hooe leads the Lancer offense with 23 hits and a .359 batting average in 21 starts this season. Hooe also has a team-best five doubles and three homers on the season. Rachel Mills (8-9) is Longwood’s ace this season with a 2.01 ERA through 19 appearances and 97.1 innings. Longwood is currently in year three of its Division I Reclassification process, which is scheduled for September 2007.

NORTHWESTERN… The Wildcats (10-6) are ranked 16th in this week’s NFCA/USA Today Coaches’ poll. NU went 2-2 in the Worth Invitational in Fullerton, Calif., defeating Texas Tech (7-0) and host Cal State Fullerton (4-0) and lost to #3 Tennessee and #5 Stanford. The Wildcats are hitting .252 as a team and are led by shortstop Tammy Williams, who posts a .392 batting average and 20 hits in 16 starts. NU utilizes just two pitchers in Eileen Canney (3-2) and Courtnay Foster (7-4). Canney has a team-best 80 Ks and 1.80 ERA in 54.1 innings while Foster is close behind with 63 strikeouts and 1.86 ERA in 52.2 innings. NU leads the all-time series with KU, 6-2, and has not lost to the Jayhawks since Feb. 7, 2004.

OKLAHOMA STATE… The Cowgirls (11-11) and Jayhawks face off for a non-conference meeting for the second straight season. KU defeated Nebraska on March 5 to catch a glimpse of the Huskers before Big 12 play and will have the same opportunity with OSU this weekend. The Cowgirls are riding a four-game win streak. Catcher Courtney Totte leads the offense with a .348 batting average, 24 hits and 19 RBI through 22 starts. Veteran Jessica Hoppock (5-7) pitches the majority of OSU’s innings (79.0) and has 86 strikeouts and a 4.08 ERA. Newcomers Kristi Giustozzi (3-0) and Chelsey Barclay (3-4) have a combined 68.2 innings between them. OSU leads the all-time series against KU, 54-33.

SAN DIEGO STATE… The Aztecs (14-5) have won four of their last six games and are 12-4 at home this season. Designated player Megan McDonald leads the SDSU offense (.281) with a .381 batting average and 13 RBI at the plate in 16 starts this season. Sophomore Christina Ross (6-3), who transferred to SDSU this season after a successful freshman campaign at Kansas in 2005, holds a team-best 0.94 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 52.0 innings. Three other Aztecs make up an SDSU pitching staff that carries a 2.09 ERA and holds opponents to a .243 hitting percentage. The KU/SDSU all-time series is ted a 1-1.

Kansas finished the week 4-2 and moved to 13-12 overall … The Jayhawks swept a Missouri State doubleheader and picked up wins over Minnesota and Eastern Michigan in the first two days of the Jayhawk Classic … Day three of the tournament was canceled after tornadic winds damaged parts of Arrocha Ballpark Sunday … Junior Kassie Humphreys (5-7) posted a 0.00 ERA and struck out 24 in 19.1 innings, despite a 1-1 record in the circle last week … Senior Serena Settlemier (8-3) extended her win streak on the mound to six with a 3-0 mark and 0.86 ERA through 16.1 innings … Settlemier and senior outfielder Heather Stanley led KU at the plate last week with six hits for .353 batting averages.

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