Jayhawks Host #19 Huskers, Travel to Arkansas

April 3, 2006


Kansas softball hosts #19 Nebraska in a Big 12 showdown Tuesday (3 p.m.) at Arrocha Ballpark before traveling to Fayetteville, Ark., for a non-conference doubleheader with Arkansas Wednesday (4 p.m.) at the Lady `Backyard. The Jayhawks (18-17, 1-3) and Huskers (24-6, 2-2) met earlier in the season on March 4 at the Best Western Airport Festival in Tulsa, Okla., with KU claiming a 4-0 win over NU in non-league action. KU has won its last six games against the Lady Razorbacks, who are 16-18 overall and 5-7 in Southeastern Conference play.

Tuesday’s game against the Huskers will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network, 1320 AM in the Lawrence area with Jud Easterday calling the action. Live Gametracker is available for all KU games. Fans in attendance at Arrocha Ballpark Tuesday will receive a free Jayhawk rally waver.

-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).
-Settlemier holds the KU all-time home runs record with 38. 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.
-With her win over Oklahoma State Saturday, head coach Tracy Bunge picked up her 300th victory at Kansas and is just eight wins away from her 400th as a head coach overall.
-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 38 homers through 35 games this season.

NU (24-6, 2-2 Big 12) takes a four-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game after posting a perfect 4-0 record last week. The Huskers traveled to Omaha and defeated in-state rival Creighton, 3-1, on Tuesday and topped Northern Iowa, 4-2, on Thursday at Bowlin Stadium in Lincoln. The Huskers earned their first Big 12 wins over the weekend with a sweep of 17th-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday by a combined score of 12-1, including a 9-1 run-rule victory in the series opener.

Seniors Lizzy Aumua and Jessica Yoachim – the 1-2 hitters in the Husker order – are both chasing a .400 season batting average. Aumua (.437) and Yoachim (.404) lead a Husker offense currently hitting .299 on the season. Nebraska had been at or above the .300 mark all season until the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader with #17 Oklahoma. Junior Ashley DeBuhr (11-5) and freshman Molly Hill (13-1) have both made 19 appearances in the circle for the Huskers. DeBuhr has a team-leading 144 strikeouts to go with her 1.63 ERA through 94.1 innings while Hill has fanned 122 batters and holds a team-best 1.35 ERA in 98.1 innings of work.

Nebraska and Kansas have already met once this season, with the Jayhawks earning a 4-0 non-conference win over the Huskers at the Best Western Airport Festival in Tulsa, Okla., on March 4. KU leads the all-time series with NU, 45-41.

The Lady `Backs (16-18, 5-7) are looking to stop a five-game skid and are coming off a three-game SEC series loss to #5 Tennessee. Junior Rachel LeMaster and senior Blaire Perry lead the Arkansas offense with 30 hits while LeMaster has a team-high .294 average and 12 steals. In the circle, sophomore Katy Henry (9-7) posts a team-leading 2.37 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 106.1 innings of work.

Kansas softball finished the week 3-1, using 42 hits and 39 runs to take a doubleheader sweep of UMKC (8-0, 19-0) and Big 12 Conference win from Oklahoma State (12-0)… With the win over the Cowgirls Saturday, head coach Tracy Bunge picked up her 300th career victory at KU… She is just eight wins away from her 400th career coaching victory… Senior pitcher/designated player Serena Settlemier led the Jayhawk offense with a .636 batting average, seven hits — including four home runs — and 13 RBI for a 1.909 slugging percentage on the week… Junior righty Kassie Humphreys (7-11) was solid in the circle for KU, striking out 14, giving up one hit and holding batters to a .033 clip in 10 innings… The Creighton twin bill scheduled for March 30 was moved to April 20 at Arrocha Ballpark.