Kansas Softball Hosts No. 6 Sooners
April 22, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
The Jayhawks will look for their third Top-25 victory since April 13 this weekend when they return home to host No. 5/6 Oklahoma in a Big 12 series at Arrocha Ballpark. KU (20-19, 3-7 Big 12) and the Sooners (42-10, 10-3) will meet Saturday at 2 p.m. and wrap up the series Sunday at 1 p.m.
All games can be followed via Gametracker by logging on to kuathletics.com, the official web site of Kansas athletics.
The Jayhawks picked up their third league victory at No. 24 Nebraska on Wednesday but are 0-5 in Big 12 contests at home. KU is looking for its first win over OU since May 2, 2002, (3-1) in the Big 12 Tournament.
KU’s bright spot has been its defense, which ranks second in the Big 12 with a solid .970 fielding percentage. The KU offense is hitting .267 on the season, while the pitching staff (2.86 ERA) is looking for consistency as it gets deeper into league play.
The KU defense is anchored by junior infielders Destiny Frankenstein, Nettie Fierros and Jessica Moppin. Frankenstein leads the KU offense with 38 hits and nine home runs for a .355 batting average (.379 Big 12) and went a career-best 4-for-4 against No. 8 Baylor last Sunday. Junior outfielder Ashley Frazer, who led the Jayhawks last week with six hits and a .545 batting average, is now second on the squad with a .346 mark (.462 in Big 12 games).
Rounding out the top of the batting order are Moppin and junior pitcher Serena Settlemier, who are hitting .288 and .265 on the season, respectively.
Fierros hit two home runs for a .417 clip last week while junior outfielder Heather Stanley is KU’s lead-off hitter and boasts a .321 batting average in Big 12 play.
KU uses three starters in its pitching rotation. Settlemier (8-7) has emerged as the Jayhawks’ No. 1 after an injury kept her from pitching most of last season. Freshman lefty Christina Ross (9-6) has pitched 91.1 innings and has posted a team-best 1.61 ERA to go with 82 strikeouts. Sophomore righty Kassie Humphreys (3-6) has 62.1 innings under her belt and has improved offensively this season.
About the No. 6 Sooners
No. 5/6 Oklahoma (42-10, 10-3) will attempt to break a two-game skid when it returns to Big 12 action at Kansas this weekend. The Sooners are coming off losses to Tulsa Wednesday (6-2) and No. 8 Baylor (6-5) Sunday.
Kami Keiter (24-4) has been the ace of the OU pitching staff for three seasons and currently holds a 1.11 ERA with 141 strikeouts. The senior also leads the Big 12 in league games with six home runs and has hit .375 with five homers and 10 RBI during the last five outings.
Keiter is backed by Jadyn Smith (3-1), Stacy Braddock (7-4) and Nicole Denes (8-1), who have each pitched at least 30 innings this season.
The Sooner offense is hitting a remarkable .360 as a team this season with eight starters batting .304 or better. Kristin Vesely is posting a ridiculous .486 average at the plate with 84 hits and 25 of 28 stolen bases. Catcher Heather Scaglione, the Big 12 Hitter of the Week, is batting .373 with 10 homers and a .704 slugging percentage on the season.
The Sooners need just two wins to clinch the 700th victory of Patty Gasso’s head coaching career, which includes her current role at OU and a four year stint at Long Beach City College.
OU leads the all-time series against KU 35-34 and has claimed the last six meetings.
Kansas Defense Impressive
KU’s defense, which ranks second in the Big 12, is on track to record its best season in program history. The Jayhawks have committed just 35 errors in 39 games this season for a .970 fielding percentage.
The KU single-season record for best fielding percentage is .969, which the Jayhawks achieved in the 1982, `91 and `92 seasons.
Home Run Happy
The KU offense is posting more than twice as many home runs as its opponents in 2005. The Jayhawks have already hit 34 homers compared to their foes’ 17. Junior Destiny Frankenstein leads the pack with nine on the season and 16 for her career.
Frankenstein Climbing the HR Charts
Junior shortstop Destiny Frankenstein is quickly climbing up the KU single-season and career home run charts. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native hit three as a rookie and four as a sophomore, but already has nine under her belt as a junior. She ranks fourth on the KU single-season list, just three away from the No. 1 spot, and fifth on the career list, just seven away from the all-time record.
In addition, Frankenstein leads the Jayhawks in batting average (.355), runs (28), hits (38), total bases (72), slugging percentage (.673), walks (21), on-base percentage (.466) and assists (87).
Don’t Jinx It!
Freshman outfielder Jackie Vasquez is a perfect 10-for-10 in stealing bases this season. The lefty slapper is batting .245 and has a flawless 1.000 fielding percentage in 33 starts as a rookie.
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