Kansas Returns to Big 12 Play in Lubbock
April 29, 2005
LUBBOCK, Texas –
Kansas softball (26-19, 5-7 Big 12) will return to Big 12 Conference play this weekend when it travels to Lubbock for a series with Texas Tech (23-22, 3-13 Big 12). The Jayhawks are coming off six straight wins at home and have won their last three league games, victories over then-ranked No. 25 Nebraska and No. 5 Oklahoma.
All games can be followed via Gametracker by logging on to kuathletics.com, the official web site of Kansas athletics.
The Jayhawks have won six straight and are on track for a solid Big 12 finish. KU has enjoyed a six-game home stand with two wins apiece over No. 5 Oklahoma, Arkansas and North Dakota State. Remaining on KU’s schedule includes the Red Raiders, Border Showdown rival Missouri (May 4, Lawrence) and Iowa State (May 7-8, Ames).
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 .275 on the season, while the pitching staff (2.70 ERA) has been solid as of late 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 44 hits and 12 home runs for a .346 batting average (.333 Big 12) and went a career-best 4-for-4 against No. 8 Baylor on April 17.
Junior outfielder Ashley Frazer is second on the squad with a .339 batting average, including .389 in Big 12 games. Rounding out the top of the batting order are Moppin (.293) and junior pitcher Serena Settlemier (.280). Moppin, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, was stellar last week, hitting .533 with eight hits, two homers, six RBI, 15 total bases and a 1.000 slugging percentage.
Fierros is batting .261 with 45 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 (11-7) 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 (4-6) has 69.1 innings under her belt and has improved offensively this season.
About Texas Tech
Texas Tech currently sits at ninth place in the conference standings and will wrap up its home season this weekend against KU at Rocky Johnson Stadium. The Red Raiders are coming off a mid-week Big 12 doubleheader split with No. 6 Texas, a 2-0 victory in 10.0 innings and 3-0 loss in the second game. In Tech’s game one victory, the Red Raiders defeated 2004 Olympic gold medalist Cat Osterman, who gave up just one hit to Tech.
Tech is led by freshman Jennifer Corkin who is batting .302 with 11 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 35 RBI. Senior Natalie Enderlin is batting .284 with five doubles, four home runs and 15 RBI.
In the circle for the Red Raiders is junior Julie Hauck (1-8) who has an ERA of 3.47 and three saves in 59.2 innings of work. Hauck has totaled 29 strikeouts and 28 walks this season Also in the circle is junior Erin Crawford (14-10, who has 103 strikeouts and 32 walks in 128.2 innings of work.
KU leads the all-time series against Tech 16-10 and has claimed the teams’ last three meetings. The Jayhawks ended the Red Raiders’ postseason hopes last year with a 5-1 defeat in a 2004 Big 12 Tournament play-in game.
Jayhawks Dig The Long Ball
The KU offense is posting more than twice as many home runs as its opponents in 2005. The Jayhawks have already hit 45 homers — the most ever in KU history — compared to their foes’ 20. Prior to this season, the 2003 squad hit a then-program-best 37 blasts.
Junior Destiny Frankenstein leads the pack with 12 home runs on the season and 19 for her career.
Home Run Records About To Fall
Jessica Moppin and Destiny Frankenstein currently top the KU single-season and career home run charts and are each just one blast away from making history.
Moppin, who has been KU’s hot bat as of late, hit a home run Thursday against North Dakota State to tie the school record 23 blasts held by Leah Tabb and Shannon Stanwix.
Frankenstein hit three as a rookie and four as a sophomore, but already has 12 homers as a junior, which ties a KU single-season high. She also ranks fourth on the career list (19), just four away from the all-time record.
In addition, Frankenstein leads the Jayhawks in batting average (.346), runs (32), hits (44), total bases (88), slugging percentage (.693), walks (21), on-base percentage (.444) and assists 103).
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 40 errors in 45 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.
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