KU Hosts Iowa State to Close Out Regular Season

May 5, 2006


Kansas closes out the regular season this week with a Big 12 weekend series against Iowa State. The Jayhawks and Cyclones will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Arrocha Ballpark. KU is 28-24 overall, 6-10 in the Big 12 and currently seventh in the league standings. The Jayhawks are coming off a 2-1 win over non-conference foe Wichita State Wednesday, while the Cyclones (23-25, 5-11 Big 12) — eighth in the Big 12 — were swept by #17 Baylor last weekend in Waco, Texas.

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. Additional information is available here. Sunday is Senior Day, which will honor KU’s six outstanding seniors. Live Gametracker is also 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 .342 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 43. 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 46 homers and is fielding .962 through 52 games this season.

The Cyclones (23-25, 5-11 Big 12) were swept by #17 Baylor last weekend in Waco, Texas, but have won three of their last six games. ISU is currently eighth in the league standings –just behind Kansas — with just the weekend series at Kansas remaining on its schedule. The Cyclones are batting .258 on the season but have struggled defensively, posting a .951 fielding percentage. The ISU pitching staff of three holds a 2.56 team ERA, is giving up 6.90 hits and striking out 4.98 batters per game this year.

Junior catcher Ashley Kileen leads the offense with a .341 batting average and 47 hits in 48 starts this season. Junior outfielder/pitcher Katie Reichling is hitting .313 with a team-high .552 slugging percentage and junior outfielder Fallon Johnson rounds out the top batters with a .278 average and team-best nine stolen bases on 11 attempts. Junior Alyssa Ransom (12-14) leads ISU in the circle with a 2.50 ERA, 96 strikeouts and .279 opponent batting average through 157.0 innings. Sophomore Amie Ford (10-11) holds a 2.73 ERA, 130 strikeouts and .245 opponent batting average in 143.2 innings of work.

Kansas leads the all-time series against Iowa State, 36-24, and has won the teams’ last three meetings. The Cyclones’ last win against KU came on May 8, 2004, in the teams’ last regular-season series in Lawrence.

This season, 23 of the Jayhawks’ 52 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 nine by the narrow margin. The team has improved its close-game strategy as seven of the nine one-run victories came in the months of April and May.

Kansas will participate in the 2006 Big 12 Softball Championship May 10-13 at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City for the 11th consecutive year. All 10 schools that sponsor softball in the Big 12 (Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech) will compete in the event. Seeds #7-10 will participate in play-in games on Wednesday to complete the eight-team field. After completing the two play-in games, the remaining eight teams will participate in double-elimination brackets with the tournament winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Softball Championship.

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