Kansas Takes a Break From Big 12 Play

April 25, 2005


After a thrilling series sweep of No. 5 Oklahoma over the weekend, the Jayhawks will take a break from Big 12 Conference play to host two non-conference doubleheaders. KU (22-19, 5-7 Big 12) will host Arkansas (19-35, 4-19 SEC) Tuesday and North Dakota State (22-23) Thursday at Arrocha Ballpark.

KU will return to league play this weekend when its travels to Lubbock for a series with Texas Tech (22-21, 2-12 Big 12). All games can be followed via Gametracker by logging on to kuathletics.com, the official web site of Kansas athletics.

About Kansas
The Jayhawks have won two straight and are on track for a solid Big 12 finish. This week’s doubleheaders will wrap up non-conference action for KU, which had nine games rained out earlier in the season.

KU has been anchored by its defense, which ranks second in the Big 12 with a solid .971 fielding percentage. The KU offense is hitting .273 on the season, while the pitching staff (2.82 ERA) was outstanding last week and has continued to improve as the `Hawks get deeper in conference play.

The KU defense is led by junior infielders Destiny Frankenstein, Nettie Fierros and Jessica Moppin. Frankenstein leads the KU offense with 39 hits and nine home runs for a .342 batting average (.333 Big 12) and went a career-best 4-for-4 against No. 8 Baylor on April 17.

Rounding out the top of the batting order are Moppin (.310) and junior pitcher Serena Settlemier (.286). Moppin was stellar last week, hitting .533 with eight hits, two homers, six RBI, 15 total bases and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Settlemier posted a .538 batting average with seven hits, 10 total bases and a .769 slugging percentage in four games last week.

Fierros is batting .245 with 41 starts this season while junior outfielder Heather Stanley is KU’s lead-off hitter and boasts a .353 batting average in Big 12 play. Junior outfielder Ashley Frazer is now second on the squad with a .333 mark, including a team-best .389 in Big 12 games.

KU uses three starters in its pitching rotation. Settlemier (9-7) is back on the mound in 2005 after an injury kept her from pitching most of last season. Freshman lefty Christina Ross (10-6) has been the leader as of late, throwing 106.1 innings with a team-best 1.71 ERA to go with 90 strikeouts. Sophomore righty Kassie Humphreys (3-6) has 62.1 innings under her belt and has improved offensively this season.

About the Lady Razorbacks
Arkansas (19-35, 4-19 SEC) is riding a four-game win streak after a five-game home stand in Fayetteville. Sarah Topham (4-5) picked up three of the four victories and leads the Lady `Backs with a 1.97 ERA in 60.1 innings. Topham is backed by Katy Henry (7-12), who has a team-leading 95 strikeouts to go with her 3.80 ERA, and Valanna Lyons (7-15), who has thrown a team-high 22 complete games.

The UA offense (.245) is led by Rachel LeMaster, who boasts a .392 batting average with 69 hits, 77 total bases and 26 stolen bases on 29 attempts.

The Jayhawks and Lady `Backs met on Feb. 11 in the Hilton Classic in Las Cruces, N.M. KU’s Christina Ross picked up her first career win, striking out three and allowing just three hits in the 5-1 win. KU notched 11 hits in the win while Nicole Washburn was credited with three RBI.

KU leads the all-time series against UA 11-6.

About North Dakota State
The Bison (22-23) have also won four straight and begin a 10-game road stand Wednesday at Missouri before coming to Lawrence for Thursday’s doubleheader. The NDSU pitching staff is posting a 2.36 ERA and uses three starters in its rotation. Allison Bakke (9-14) has struck out 176 in 28 appearances, Amber Garrett (9-3) holds a team-best 1.05 ERA, and Bekki Rasmussen (4-6) has made 18 appearances this season.

Three starters — Bakke, Lynnae Foshag and Erin Troup — are hitting .302 or better on the season. Foshag went 3-for-7 with four RBI to lead NDSU to a doubleheader sweep of South Dakota by the scores of 4-2 and 6-1 on Sunday.

Thursday marks the first meeting between the schools.

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 36 errors in 41 games this season for a .971 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 nearly twice as many home runs as its opponents in 2005. The Jayhawks have already hit 37 homers compared to their foes’ 19. Junior Destiny Frankenstein leads the pack with nine on the season and 16 for her career.

Moppin, Frankenstein Climbing the HR Charts
Jessica Moppin and Destiny Frankenstein are quickly climbing up the KU single-season and career home run charts.

Moppin, who has been KU’s hot bat as of late, hit two homers last weekend against No. 5/6 Oklahoma for a season total of eight and career mark of 22, just one away from the school record held by Leah Tabb and Shannon Stanwix.

Frankenstein 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 (.342), runs (28), hits (39), total bases (73), slugging percentage (.640), walks (21), on-base percentage (.449) and assists (91).

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