Jayhawks To Face Baylor in Big 12 Championship

May 9, 2006


KU is the No. 6 seed in the 2006 Big 12 Softball Championship and will face third-seeded Baylor Thursday at 11 a.m. at the ASA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. The Jayhawks will then face No. 2 Nebraska, No. 7 Missouri or No. 10 Texas Tech in the double-elimination tournament at 2 or 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. KU finished the regular season 30-24 overall and 8-10 in the Big 12, good for a tie for fifth place with Oklahoma. The Jayhawks went 3-0 to close out the regular season at home last week, defeating Wichita State and sweeping a Big 12 series with Iowa State.

KU’s Big 12 Championship games will be broadcast live on KLWN 1320 AM with Jud Easterday and Aaron Clopton calling the action. 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 .331 batting average and the pitching staff with a 1.21 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 (29) 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 47 homers and is fielding .963 through 54 games this season.

The Lady Bears (36-18, 12-6 Big 12) have won eight of their last nine games and had an eight-game win streak snapped by #2 Texas on May 3 to close out their regular season. Despite the loss, Baylor finished the regular season with a school best 12-6 record in conference play and third in the Big 12 standings, establishing a school record for highest conference finish. Baylor ranks second in the league with a .308 hitting percentage and is averaging just under eight hits per game. The Lady Bears’ pitching staff of six posted a 2.30 ERA, allowed 5.74 hits and struck out five batters per game in the regular season.

Chelsi Lake leads the BU offense with a .375 batting average, 63 hits, 16 home runs, 16 doubles and a .756 slugging percentage. Three other Lady Bears are hitting .329 or better with Ashley Monceaux batting .366 in 51 starts and Big 12 Freshman of the Year candidate Brette Reagan hitting .362 with 44 RBI. The BU pitching staff ranks fourth in the Big 12 and is led by ace Lisa Ferguson (18-12). Ferguson holds a 1.64 ERA and has struck out 146 in 188 innings of work. Five other Lady Bears have seen action in the circle this season with most of the relief coming from Monceaux (5-3), who has thrown 70 innings.

KU leads the all-time series against Baylor, 20-11. The teams split the 2006 Big 12 series, with KU winning the first contest, 2-1 in 11 innings, and BU taking the second game by the same score (April 8-9). The Lady Bears have claimed six of the last seven meetings with the Jayhawks.

Texas won the 2006 Big 12 Conference softball crown and will enter the league championship as the top-seeded team for the third time in conference history. The championship is scheduled for Wednesday-Saturday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. UT posted a 15-2 league mark and earns its third regular season title in five years (2002, `03, `06). The Longhorns, also the defending postseason champions, have won a conference-high four Big 12 championships (1999, 2002, `03, `05). The squad will face the winner of the No. 8 Oklahoma State (5-13)/No. 9 Iowa State (5-13) game at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., No. 2 seed Nebraska (13-4) will meet the Game 2 winner, which features No. 7 Missouri (7-11) and No. 10 Texas Tech (4-13). Third-seeded Baylor (12-6) and fourth-seeded Texas A&M (11-6) will open championship action at 11 a.m. on Thursday against No. 6 Kansas (8-10) and No. 5 Oklahoma (8-10), respectively. FSN will televise Friday’s 4:30 p.m. game in addition to Saturday’s 3:00 p.m. championship contest. The winner will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Softball Championship.

Kansas will await its NCAA Tournament fate when bids are announced at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPNews’ Division I Selection Show. The Jayhawks will hold their annual team banquet prior to the selection announcement. KU was one of eight Big 12 Conference teams selected to the 2005 regional field.

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*Tickets can be ordered by contacting the Oklahoma City All Sports Association at (405) 236-5000 or by downloading the ticket application on the Big 12 web site, www.big12sports.com.

General Admission

All Session: $50
Single Session: $8 – Adult
(Games 1-10) $5 – Senior Citizens/Children 12 & under
Single Session: $10 – Adult
(Games 11-17) $7 – Senior Citizens/Children 12 & under