Jayhawks Hope For Better Weather in Kansas

March 29, 2005


After being rained out seven times over the past two weeks, Kansas hopes for more pleasant weather (and to play a few games) this week. The Jayhawks (15-10,0-1 Big 12) will host No. 22 Nebraska Wednesday, travel to Wichita State Thursday for a doubleheader and return home for a Big 12 Conference series with No. 6 Texas A&M Saturday and Sunday.

The first 300 fans through the gate at Arrocha Ballpark Wednesday and Saturday will receive a free Jayhawk rally towel.

Schedule Changes
Head coach Tracy Bunge announced a few changes and additions to the schedule on Tuesday. Sunday’s contest against Texas A&M was moved up to noon from 1 p.m. The Arkansas doubleheader scheduled for April 27 was moved to April 26 but will still begin at 3 p.m. in Lawrence. Due to so many rainouts, KU has also added a doubleheader at home against North Dakota State, which is set for April 28 at 3 p.m.

About Kansas
The Jayhawks are 15-10 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12 after a 4-1 loss to No. 4 Texas on March 25 in their only game in the last 10 days. The Big 12 series was cut short due to rain and a bench collapse in the Texas dugout. KU also had games against SMS, Indiana State, Illinois, Sacramento State, Utah Valley State and Northwestern either cancelled or postponed due to inclement weather.

The KU defense remains solid behind junior infielders Destiny Frankenstein, Nettie Fierros and Jessica Moppin, and ranks third in the Big 12 with a .973 fielding percentage.

Frankenstein leads the KU offense with 26 hits and six home runs for a .382 batting average. Junior Ashley Goodrich has been a leader as of late and is hitting at a .324 clip after starting seven games as the designated hitter. Rounding out the top of the batting order are Moppin and Fierros, who are hitting .292 and .290 on the season, respectively.

KU uses three starters in its pitching rotation. Junior right-hander Serena Settlemier (7-5) has emerged as the Jayhawks’ No. 1 after an injury kept her from pitching most of last season. Freshman lefty Christina Ross (5-3) has been impressive, pitching 54.0 innings and posting a team-best 1.56 ERA to go with 47 strikeouts. Sophomore righty Kassie Humphreys (3-2) pitched a shutout against Rhode Island on March 18 and has also started six games at first base.

About Nebraska
Kansas and Nebraska will face off Wednesday in part one of the teams’ annual split Big 12 series. The No. 22 Huskers are coming off two losses to the No. 6 Aggies last week in College Station. Nebraska (20-11, 0-2 Big 12) fell 4-2 and 6-0 in their conference-opening series and is trying to snap a four-game losing streak.

The Husker offense managed 10 hits in the Texas A&M series and is hitting .309 on the season. Four Huskers — Anne Steffen, Elizabeth Rock, Sheena Lawrick and Jessica Yoachim — are batting .347 or better with 33 or more hits on the season. Steffen, a senior infielder, leads NU with a .505 average at the plate — good for second in the Big 12.

NU utilizes three pitchers in its starting rotation, which is anchored by sophomore righty Ashley DeBuhr (11-9). DeBuhr boasts a 1.67 ERA and has struck out 131 batters in 121.1 innings of work. Freshman Jordan Keen (7-2) has made 16 appearances this season (67.0 innings) and is posting a 1.88 ERA. Sophomore Jamie Borg (2-0) has made eight appearances and held batters to a .205 average in 18.2 innings of work.

Nebraska’s defense has struggled this season and ranks ninth in the league with a .954 fielding percentage. KU will travel to Lincoln to finish the series April 20.

About Wichita State The Jayhawks will take a break from Big 12 play for a doubleheader with Wichita State on Thursday. The Shockers (19-10, 5-0 Missouri Valley Conference) are coming off a pair of 10-hit outings to defeat Bradley 4-1 and 8-0 on March 26. Four different Shockers picked up two hits each in game one, led by Katie McGeeney who went 2-4 and scored twice.

The Shockers got complete games from pitchers Margo Pruis and Linsey Craig. Pruis threw game one, giving up one run on two hits while striking out 11. Craig pitched a four-hit shutout in six innings in game two, giving up four hits and striking out four.

Wichita State is also scheduled to face SMS in a doubleheader Wednesday.

About Texas A&M
On Saturday and Sunday, Kansas will host the No. 6 Aggies (31-2, 3-0 Big 12), who boast one of the best offenses in the nation. TAMU is batting .352 as a team this season — just behind Oklahoma’s league-leading .353 clip. Nine Aggies are batting above .300.

TAMU has won 15 straight games and is coming off a sweep of Nebraska and win over Baylor for a 3-0 league start.

TAMU’s defense (.974 fielding percentage) also ranks second in the league while its pitching staff (1.25 ERA) is third in the Big 12.

Freshman pitcher Amanda Scarborough was named Big 12 Pitcher and National Player of the Week on Tuesday. On the week, Scarborough held batters to a .071 average when runners were on base, a .160 with two outs, and struck out 5.67 batters per game while allowing just three walks.

Scarborough is a perfect 18-0 on the season with a 0.36 ERA and leads the high-powered Aggie offense with a .429 average with 39 hits, 10 doubles, six home runs and 31 RBI.

The Aggies’ two losses this season were to Ole Miss (2-0 on Feb. 19) and Long Beach State (9-1 on Feb. 27 in the Palm Spring Classic). TAMU will travel to Texas State for a game Wednesday night before heading to Lawrence.

Jayhawks Praised By Texas Mom
Four University of Texas softball players were injured when part of their dugout collapsed during a game against Kansas Saturday. The Jayhawks and No. 4 Longhorns were in the bottom of the second inning when lightning and rain forced a delay at McCombs field.

As teams sat in their dugouts to wait out the rain delay, a concrete portion of the Texas bench came away from the back wall and collapsed. The game, which will not be rescheduled, was the second of a two-game series to open Big 12 Conference play.

Laura Osterman, mother of Texas star pitcher Cat Osterman, made a post to the kusports.com message boards and e-mailed the online editor thanking the KU players for coming to the aid of the Texas bench after the accident.

“It was a scary afternoon and we are all thankful that no one was seriously hurt,” she posted. “It was wonderful the way your girls ran in to help. I think their heads were just a bit calmer at that moment and it probably made a huge difference.”

“Your pitchers and your team did an awesome job on Friday, especially your pinch hitter Heather Stanley! A great shot over the left field fence.”

Home Run Happy
The KU offense is posting more than three times as many home runs as its opponents in 2005. The Jayhawks have already hit 23 homers compared to their foes’ eight. Junior Destiny Frankenstein leads the pack with six on the season and 13 for her career.

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