KU Wraps Up Regular Season in Ames
May 6, 2005
AMES, Iowa –
Kansas softball wraps up its regular season this weekend with a Big 12 Conference series with Iowa State in Ames. The teams will face off at 2 p.m. Saturday and at noon on Sunday. The Jayhawks are 28-20 overall and 7-8 in the Big 12 and currently seventh in the league standings while the Cyclones (18-29, 3-13 Big 12) will finish ninth or 10th.
KU opens its postseason May 11-14 at the 2005 Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City. With a top-six finish, the Jayhawks will avoid the single-elimination play-in games (Wednesday, 5 p.m.) and open the tournament Thursday at 11 a.m. All games can be followed via Gametracker by logging on to kuathletics.com, the official web site of Kansas athletics.
With a sweep of Iowa State, the Jayhawks could finish among the top six in the Big 12 standings. Missouri (37-10, 9-7) and Nebraska (32-18, 8-8), which play each other in a series this weekend, sit just above the Jayhawks as Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, in the standings.
KU has been anchored by its defense, which ranks second in the Big 12 with a solid .972 fielding percentage. The offense is hitting .276 on the season, while the pitching staff (2.59 ERA) has been strong as of late and continues to improve as the `Hawks round out conference play.
The KU defense is led by junior infielders Destiny Frankenstein, Nettie Fierros and Jessica Moppin. Frankenstein leads the KU offense with 48 hits and 13 home runs for a .353 batting average (.356 Big 12) and recently broke the school record for single-season home runs.
Junior outfielder Ashley Frazer is second on the squad with a .333 batting average, including .360 in Big 12 games. Lead-off batter and right fielder Heather Stanley has paced the Jayhawks as of late, hitting .405 in Big 12 games (.320 all games), good for third among the league hitters.
Rounding out the top of the batting order are Moppin (.289) and junior pitcher Serena Settlemier (.276). Fierros is batting .256 with 48 starts this season and set a career high on May 1 against Texas Tech with two home runs for four RBI.
KU uses three starters in its pitching rotation. Settlemier (12-8) is starting in the circle in 2005 after an injury kept her from pitching most of last season. Settlemier has a team-leading 133 strikeouts on the season and recently set a new career best when she fanned 14 batters at Texas Tech on April 30. Freshman lefty Christina Ross (11-6) has been the leader as of late, throwing 118.1 innings with a team-best 1.66 ERA to go with 98 strikeouts. Sophomore righty Kassie Humphreys (5-6) has 73.1 innings under her belt and has improved offensively this season.
About Iowa State
Fresh off its series split against No. 8 Baylor, Iowa State (18-29, 3-13 Big 12) looks to close out the regular season in strong fashion when it hosts a red-hot Kansas team. For the first time since the 2003 campaign, the Cyclones, who defeated Baylor, 2-1 last Saturday, will end their regular season at home. ISU is 7-6 at the Southwest Athletic Complex this season including 2-5 in Big 12 contests.
The Cyclones’ No. 1 pitcher is Alyssa Ransom (11-17), who has 99 strikeouts in 171.2 innings for a team-best 2.81 ERA. Katie Reichling (7-10), who has thrown 121.2 innings with a 2.82 ERA, may also getting the starting nod.
ISU, which ranks 10th in the Big 12 with a .208 batting average, is 11-6 when it outhits opponents and 4-25 when outhit by its foes. Currently, sophomores Reichling (.310), Ashley Killeen (.252) and Jessica Quade (.216) lead the Iowa State hitting charge with 31, 29 and 28 hits, respectively.
Saturday’s festivities will include a special ceremony honoring former Cyclone standout and Olympian Erin (Woods) White. White, who was on the ISU squad from 1996-99, still ranks among the program’s career leaders in several categories
Following Sunday’s game, Iowa State will pay tribute to the accomplishment of seniors Misty Kimura, Diana Reuter, Kim Rodgers and Amber Wood after they play in their last home game.
Iowa State is 28-34 all-time against Kansas. The Cyclones and Jayhawks have split the season series the last three years in a row.
Jayhawks Looking For 21st 30-Win Season
With a sweep this weekend, KU will achieve its 21st 30-win season since 1978. Since her arrival as head coach in 1997, head coach Tracy Bunge has complied six 30+ win seasons and led the Jayhawks to two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Should the Jayhawks go 9-8 in the Big 12 this season, it will mark their best conference finish since 2001, when KU finished 10-8 in the league.
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’ 21. 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 May 1, 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 (48), total bases (96), slugging percentage (.706), walks (22), on-base percentage (.447) and assists (107).
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 46 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 52 doubles this season — just two hits less than its 50 home runs. As for triples, the Jayhawks have just three this season, making home runs the popular choice among KU sluggers.
Moppin One Swing Away From Making History
Junior second baseman Jessica Moppin has tied the KU career record with 23 home runs — and still has another year to play with the Jayhawks. With her next blast over the fence, Moppin will surpass Leah Tabb (1999-02) and Shannon Stanwix (1997-00) for the new KU career record.
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