Jayhawks To Host Shockers Wednesday

May 2, 2006


Kansas softball closes out the regular season this week with four home games — a non-conference doubleheader with Wichita State Wednesday (3 p.m.) and Big 12 weekend series with Iowa State. The Jayhawks are 27-24 overall, 6-10 in the Big 12 and currently seventh in the league standings. KU went 0-3 in a Big 12 road stint last week, losing to a pair of ranked teams in #17 Nebraska and #23 Oklahoma. Wichita State (32-19, 11-9 MVC) is coming off three straight losses to Missouri Valley Conference foe Illinois State. The Shockers are currently fourth in the MVC standings.

Fans in attendance Wednesday will receive a free Jayhawk rally towel. Wednesday’s first game of the twinbill will be broadcast live on KLWN 1320 AM with Jud Easterday and Aaron Clopton calling the action. Live Gametracker is available for all KU games.

-Senior pitcher/designated player Serena Settlemier, who was named USA Softball National and Big 12 Player of the Week on April 25, leads the KU offense with a .340 batting average and the pitching staff with a 1.27 ERA on the season.
-With the Jayhawks’ wins over Creighton on April 20, KU head coach Tracy Bunge earned her 400th career coaching victory. Bunge also celebrated a milestone victory on April 1, when KU’s win over Oklahoma State marked her 300th victory at the helm of the Kansas program.
-Settlemier holds the KU all-time home runs record with 42. Destiny Frankenstein is next with 31 for her career, while Jessica Moppin (28) and Nettie Fierros (15) also rank in KU’s career Top 10.
-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 has 45 homers and is fielding .961 through 51 games this season.

The Shockers (32-19, 11-9 MVC) were swept by Missouri Valley Conference foe Illinois State in a three-game series April 23-24 and had a doubleheader with Drake cancelled due to rain over the weekend. WSU is currently fourth in the league standings and with four regular-season games remaining, is looking to keep its postseason hopes alive. The Shockers are batting .259 on the season and have been solid defensively, posting a .979 fielding percentage. The pitching staff of three holds a 2.65 team ERA, is giving up 5.41 hits and striking out 6.33 batters per game this year.

Sophomore outfielder Katie McGeeney leads the offense with a .327 batting average and 53 hits in 51 starts this season. Sophomore pitcher/shortstop Britnee Barnett is hitting .316 with a team-high 13 doubles and junior outfielder Erin Peters rounds out the top batters with a .301 average and team-best 23 stolen bases on 26 attempts. Junior Margo Pruis (18-10) leads WSU in the circle with a 2.10 ERA, 214 strikeouts and .164 opponent batting average through 200.1 innings. Barnett (13-8) and sophomore Cynthia Verhulst (1-1) could also see time on the mound Wednesday.

Kansas leads the all-time series against Wichita State, 67-13, but the Shockers have won six of the last seven meetings. WSU swept the teams’ non-conference doubleheader in Wichita last season, 5-4 (8) and 7-3.

This season, 22 of the Jayhawks’ 51 games have been decided by just one run. The trend does not usually go in KU’s favor as the Jayhawks have lost 14 games by one run and won just eight by the narrow margin. The team has improved its close-game strategy as six of the eight one-run victories came in the month of April.

Kansas will wrap up the regular season at home with a Big 12 weekend series with Iowa State (Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.). Saturday is Bark In the Park! All fans can bring their dogs to Arrocha Ballpark along with a cash donation or donated items for the Lawrence Humane Society. Click here for more details. Sunday is Senior Day, which will honor six seniors — Destiny Frankenstein, Serena Settlemier, Nettie Fierros, Ashley Goodrich, Heather Stanley and Jessica Moppin.

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