Kansas Wraps Up Non-Conference Play Thursday
April 27, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
The Jayhawks will look to extend their four-game win streak Thursday with a non-conference doubleheader against North Dakota State (22-23) at Arrocha Ballpark.
KU (24-19) will return to league play this weekend when its travels to Lubbock for a series with Texas Tech (23-22, 3-13 Big 12). All games can be followed via Gametracker by logging on to kuathletics.com, the official web site of Kansas athletics.
The Jayhawks have won four straight and are on track for a solid Big 12 finish. Thursday’s doubleheader 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 .280 on the season, while the pitching staff (2.78 ERA) has been solid and 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 42 hits and 10 home runs for a .347 batting average (.333 Big 12) and went a career-best 4-for-4 against No. 8 Baylor on April 17.
Junior outfielder Ashley Frazer now leads the squad with a .350 batting average, including .389 in Big 12 games. Rounding out the top of the batting order are Moppin (.299) and junior pitcher Serena Settlemier (.286). Moppin, the Big 12 Player of the Week, has been stellar, hitting .533 with eight hits, two homers, six RBI, 15 total bases and a 1.000 slugging percentage last week.
Fierros is batting .259 with 43 starts this season while junior outfielder Heather Stanley is KU’s lead-off hitter and boasts a .353 batting average in Big 12 play.
KU uses three starters in its pitching rotation. Settlemier (10-7) is back on the mound in 2005 after an injury kept her from pitching most of last season. Freshman lefty Christina Ross (11-6) has been the leader as of late, throwing 113.1 innings with a team-best 1.73 ERA to go with 94 strikeouts. Sophomore righty Kassie Humphreys (3-6) has 62.1 innings under her belt and has improved offensively this season.
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), who 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, 4-2 and 6-1, 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 38 errors in 43 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 twice as many home runs as its opponents in 2005. The Jayhawks have already hit 41 homers — the most ever in KU history — compared to their foes’ 19. Prior to this season, the 2003 squad hit a then-program-best 37 blasts.
Junior Destiny Frankenstein leads the pack with 10 home runs on the season and 17 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 10 under her belt as a junior. She ranks fourth on the KU single-season list, just two away from the No. 1 spot, and fifth on the career list, just six away from the all-time record.
In addition, Frankenstein leads the Jayhawks in batting average (.347), runs (30), hits (42), total bases (80), slugging percentage (.661), walks (21), on-base percentage (.448) and assists (99).
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