Border Showdown Comes To Arrocha Ballpark
May 3, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Kansas softball is riding an eight-game win streak and wraps up its home season Wednesday (4 p.m.) against Border Showdown rival No. 18 Missouri. The Jayhawks are 28-19 overall and 7-7 in the Big 12 Conference and currently tied for sixth in the league with Nebraska. The Jayhawks will conclude regular season play this weekend against Iowa State in Ames before the Big 12 Tournament begins on May 11.
Senior pitcher Kathy McVey will be honored prior to and following Wednesday’s game and the first 300 fans in attendance will receive a Jayhawk Rally Waver. The Tigers currently lead the 2004-05 Border Showdown 19.0-14.5.
The contest will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1320 in and around the Lawrence area. Jud Easterday (play-by-play) and Sarah Clopton (color) will call the action. All games can be followed via Gametracker by logging on to kuathletics.com, the official web site of Kansas athletics.
The Jayhawks have won eight straight and are on track for a top-six Big 12 finish. KU has been anchored by its defense, which ranks second in the Big 12 with a solid .972 fielding percentage. The offense is hitting .277 on the season, while the pitching staff (2.58 ERA) has been strong as of late and continues 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 47 hits and 13 home runs for a .353 batting average (.357 Big 12) and recently broke the school record for single-season home runs.
Junior outfielder Ashley Frazer is second on the squad with a .328 batting average, including .348 in Big 12 games. Lead-off batter and right fielder Heather Stanley has paced the Jayhawks as of late, hitting .385 in Big 12 games (.310 all games), good for fourth in the league.
Rounding out the top of the batting order are Moppin (.288) and junior pitcher Serena Settlemier (.274). Fierros is batting .262 with 47 starts this season and set a career high Sunday against Texas Tech with two home runs for four RBI.
KU uses three starters in its pitching rotation. Settlemier (12-7) is back on the mound in 2005 after an injury kept her from pitching most of last season. Settlemier has a team-leading 131 strikeouts on the season and recently set a new career best when she fanned 14 batters at Texas Tech Saturday. Freshman lefty Christina Ross (11-6) has been the leader as of late, throwing 114.1 innings with a team-best 1.71 ERA to go with 94 strikeouts. Sophomore righty Kassie Humphreys (5-6) has 73.1 innings under her belt and has improved offensively this season.
Like the Jayhawks, Missouri is one of the hottest teams in the Big 12 right now. The No. 18 Tigers (36-10, 8-7 Big 12) are coming off a series sweep of regular-season league champion No. 4 Texas A&M last weekend in Columbia and have won four straight games.
Michaela Minner leads the MU offense with a .409 batting average, 52 hits, 50 RBI and an .827 slugging percentage on the season. Six other Tigers are hitting .302 or better for a team clip of .312 — good for fourth in the league.
Janessa Roening, the National Player of the Week, leads the Tigers in Big 12 batting with a .367 average and 18 hits over 15 games. For the week, Roening was a combined 7-for-13 while scoring four runs, seven RBI and crushing two homers. MU is hitting .265 in Big 12 contests while its pitching staff is posting a 2.35 ERA.
The Tiger pitchers rank second in the league with a 1.53 ERA in 46 games this season. Erica Peterson (16-2) boasts a 1.01 ERA in 41 appearances, has struck out 146 and holds opponents to a .170 batting average. Jen Bruck (14-3) is next with 103.1 innings and has 97 strikeouts for an impressive 1.76 ERA. Erin Kalka (6-5) has seen a lot of innings as of late and has a 2.21 ERA with 79 strikeouts this season.
The MU defense ranks fifth in the league but has been solid in Big 12 play with a .975 fielding percentage.
The Tigers lead the all-time series against the Jayhawks 47-35.
Last Meeting — KU 5, MU 3
Nettie Fierros hit a three-run homer to secure KU’s 5-3 victory over No. 18 Missouri April 13 at University Field in Columbia, Mo.
MU got on the board 1-0 in its first at-bat. Lead-off batter Leanne Bowers walked, moved to third on a KU throwing error and scored on a base hit by Amanda Renth.
The Jayhawks took a 3-1 lead in the top of the second on Fierros’ dinger. Destiny Frankenstein and Elle Pottorf led off the inning with base hits and Fierros took her first pitch over the center field fence for three RBI.
The Tigers came within a run in the bottom of the third when Bowers hit a solo home run to left. KU’s Christina Ross came in to relieve Serena Settlemier in the bottom of the fourth and gave up just two hits in the last four innings.
KU added to its lead in the top of the fifth, scoring two runs off two hits. Fierros led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ashley Frazer. Heather Stanley singled to right to move Fierros to third and stole second to put two runners in scoring position.
Jessica Moppin singled to score Fierros and with bases loaded, Elle Pottorf was hit by a pitch to bring home Stanley and give KU the 5-2 lead.
MU threatened in the bottom of the seventh as pinch hitter Jen Bruck homered over the center field fence, but Ross retired the final batter for the save.
Settlemier struck out four, allowed two hits and walked one in the first three innings. Ross gave up two hits, struck out one and walked one to pick up the win. The Jayhawk offense recorded six hits off Erin Kalka in the first 4.1 innings. Erica Peterson allowed no hits and struck out four to finish the game.
Last Week’s Leftovers
KU enjoyed two victories apiece over Texas Tech, Arkansas and North Dakota State last week … Heather Stanley led the Jayhawk offense, batting .471 in the lead off spot with eight hits, 15 total bases and an .882 slugging percentage … Destiny Frankenstein, who hit .421 on the week with eight hits (including four home runs) and a 1.158 slugging percentage, broke the KU single-season home runs record when she blasted her 13th of the season at Texas Tech Sunday … KU pitchers held opponents to a .194 batting average and posted a 1.00 ERA in the six wins … Serena Settlemier (12-7) led the pitching staff with 33 strikeouts and a 0.61 ERA in 23.0 innings of work for three victories.
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 50 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 13 home runs on the season and 20 for her career.
Frankenstein Breaks Single-Season Home Run Record
With her 13th home run of the year at Texas Tech on Sunday, junior shortstop Destiny Frankenstein shattered the KU single-season home run record. Frankenstein broke the previous record of 12 held by Leah Tabb (2001) and increased her career total to 20, which ranks fourth on the all-time list.
In addition, Frankenstein leads the Jayhawks in batting average (.353), runs (35), hits (47), total bases (95), slugging percentage (.714), walks (22), on-base percentage (.449) and assists (105).
Junior second baseman Jessica Moppin is also just one blast away from making history. Moppin, who was named Big 12 Player of the Week on April 26, is currently tied with the school record 23 blasts held by Tabb and Shannon Stanwix.
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 .972 fielding percentage.
The KU single-season record for best fielding percentage is .969, which the Jayhawks achieved in the 1982, `91 and `92 seasons.
Why Double When…
The 2005 Jayhawks are not messing around with their extra-base hits. KU has hit 51 doubles this season — just one hit less than its 50 home runs this season. As for triples, the Jayhawks have just three this season, making home runs the popular choice among KU sluggers.