Softball 2007 Season Recap

May 24, 2007

LAWRENCE, Kan. –

The 2007 Kansas Jayhawks featured a young team that had to replace six seniors in its defense of the 2006 Big 12 Tournament title. This year, KU advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to No. 2/3 <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Oklahoma to finish the season with a 33-24-1 mark. It is KU’s seventh straight season with a winning record and the fourth straight season with at least 30 victories. Seniors Kassie Humphreys and Nicole Washburn provided the leadership to guide the `Hawks to three wins over ranked opponents, including No. 3 Oklahoma.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Postseason Honors

Humphreys, sophomore Stevie Crisosto and freshman Amanda Jobe were named to the All-Big 12 Second Team. It is the second year in a row that Humphreys was recognized by the Big 12 for her outstanding play on the field. Crisosto and Jobe were named to an All-Big 12 team for the first time in their careers. Jobe is one of only five freshmen in the conference to be an All-Big 12 honoree.

Humphreys was also named to the Big 12 Softball All-Tournament Team for the second consecutive year. She was the only player named to the All-Tournament team that did not play in the tournament semifinals.

Sophomore Stevie Crisosto was named to the Waco Tribune-Herald’s All-Big 12 Second Team. The sophomore led the Jayhawks with a .302 batting average and finished the season with 11 doubles.

Sophomore Val Chapple was named to the All-Big 12 Academic First Team. Chapple is one of only four players in the conference to have a perfect 4.0 GPA. Humphreys, Washburn, junior Betsy Wilson and sophomore Erika Simington were named to the All-Big 12 Academic Second Team for achieving at least a 3.0 GPA. It is Washburn’s third straight nomination and Humphrey’s second to the All-Big 12 Academic Second Team. Wilson and Simington were recognized for the first time as All-Big 12 Academic performers.

Record-Breakers and Jet-Setters

The 2007 Kansas pitching staff recorded the most saves in the Kansas’ history with nine. Humphreys’ five saves, sophomore Val George’s three saves and freshman Sarah Vertelka’s one save combined to defeat the previous record high of seven in 1994.

Humphreys’ name is littered across the Kansas career pitching records list following four memorable seasons in a Jayhawk uniform. Humphreys is third all-time in strikeouts (735), fourth all-time in appearances (136), sixth all-time in victories (57), innings pitched (689.2), complete games (67) and shutouts (22).

Humphreys’ senior campaign was also one of the best seasons in Jayhawk history as the Glendale, Ariz. native recorded the eighth most appearances in one season with 43 and the ninth most strikeouts in a season with 226. When compared with other Jayhawk seniors, Humphreys’ 43 appearances and 226 strikeouts are the second and third most ever, respectively, by a Kansas senior.

Sophomore Elle Pottorf had a fine season at the plate, finishing with nine home runs–tied for the eighth most ever by a Jayhawk in a season. She also tallied 37 runs batted in this season–good for the seventh most all-time by a Kansas player in a season.

The 2007 sophomore class had a strong season as four different sophomores had near record-breaking seasons for second-year players. Dougie McCaulley finished the season with the third most at-bats for a sophomore with 185. Crisosto had the third best season for a sophomore with 11 doubles on the season. Chapple’s ten doubles put her in a tie for fourth-best season by a sophomore. Crisosto also had the fourth-best season for a sophomore in runs with 33, and the fifth most for stolen bases with 13. Pottorf’s nine home runs are the second most ever by a Jayhawk sophomore, trailing only Jayhawk home run queen Serena Settlemier’s 11.

Fun Facts

-Head Coach Tracy Bunge won her 350th game at KU against No. 3 Oklahoma on April 28. Her all-time record at KU is 351-295-2.

-Assistant coach Jen Sewell joined the program three years ago and has amassed 100 victories over that span. Her record at KU is 100-74-1.

-Amanda Jobe led all Big 12 freshmen with 30 walks. The mark tied for the seventh most from any player in Big 12 this season.

-Kassie Humphreys led the Big 12 with five saves and finished in a tie for the most appearances this season by a Big 12 hurler with 43.

-Sara Ramirez led all Big 12 freshmen with four home runs in conference play.

-With the bases empty, Stevie Crisosto had an eye-popping .361 batting average. Crisosto also reached base 17 out of 34 times as a leadoff batter.

-Kansas was 23-0 when leading after five innings and was 26-3 when scoring first. If the Jayhawks scored five runs, they were unbeatable, going 13-0.

-The Jayhawks were 3-0 in extra inning games and 13-5-1 in neutral site contests.

-KU’s longest winning streak was six games from Feb. 24-Mar. 3. The `Hawks’ longest losing streak was five games.

-Dougie McCaulley led the team with 13 multiple hit games. Elle Pottorf led KU with nine multiple RBI games.

-Crisosto’s 13 game consecutive hitting streak from Mar. 11-Mar. 28 was the longest consecutive hitting streak by a Jayhawk this season. McCaulley’s five game hit streak was the second longest this season.

-McCaulley was KU’s lead-off hitter in every game this season. She was the only Jayhawk to bat in the same place in the batting order for every game this season.

-Third baseman Val Chapple, shortstop Crisosto and second baseman Ramirez were the only Jayhawks to start all 58 games at the same position.

-Kassie Humphreys was only the KU player to not record an error this season.

-Of Kansas’ top seven batters, six are freshmen and sophomores.

Jayhawk Seniors

Nicole Washburn
A graduate of FortZumwaltWestHigh School and native of St. Peters, Missouri, Nicole Washburn has started at first base all four years of her career. As a freshman, Nicole hit .226 and led the Jayhawks with a team-high nine doubles in 2004. From 2005-07, Washburn earned Academic All-Big 12 Conference Second Team honors for maintaining a 3.0 GPA. In Washburn’s senior season, she hit a career-best four home runs while totaling another career-high for runs batted in with 15.

In all, Washburn started 188 games, notched 109 hits, scored 34 runs and totaled 1,142 putouts at first base while only committing 16 errors.

Kassie Humphreys
Heralded as one of the top pitchers in the state of Arizona out of GlendaleHigh School, Kassie Humphreys has made a name for herself as one of the best Jayhawks to grace the circle. The Glendale native blew onto the scene as a freshman at KU in 2004, posting a 1.57 ERA and holding opponent hitters to a .195 batting average in 178 innings. Her 181 strikeouts as a rookie ranked second all-time for a KU freshman behind All-American Tracy Bunge.

Despite a disappointing sophomore campaign, Humphreys again took the Big 12 by storm as a junior, posting a 1.19 ERA and holding batters to a .156 batting average — second in the league only to National Player of the Year Cat Osterman. Humphreys also totaled 262 strikeouts — the most by a Jayhawk since the 1994 season — and led KU to its first-ever Big 12 Postseason Championship. A 2006 All-Big 12 and Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree, Humphreys was named USA Softball Pitcher of the Week on May 14, 2006 and earned NFCA Second-Team All-Region honors.

Humphreys capped-off her distinguished career with a stellar senior season and by winning the team’s Most Valuable Player Award. As a senior, Humphreys had her best offensive season, tallying four home runs, 18 RBI and 12 runs scored. As the team’s ace, Humphreys held opponents to a .190 batting average and recorded 226 strikeouts.

In the circle, Humphreys started 102 games in her career–winning 57. At the plate, Humphreys recorded 50 hits, seven home runs and earned a .302 slugging percentage.

A Quick Peek Into 2008

Kansas plans to return 16 players next season, including eight starters. Four freshmen will also join the program.

The infield projects to be the most experienced group next season with each position featuring a returning starter. Left-handed Amanda Jobe will move back to first base, her natural position. Every game starter’s Sara Ramirez, Stevie Crisosto and Val Chapple will return to their respective positions in the infield. Providing depth in the infield will be senior Addy Lucero and freshman Kolby Fesmire of Round Rock, Texas. Lucero will see time at both first and third base next season. Fesmire figures to provide the depth up the middle, but may also see action in the outfield.

Dougie McCaulley will anchor the outfield once again from centerfield. Who lines up next to McCaulley will be one of the Jayhawks’ biggest question marks heading into next season. Betsy Wilson and sophomore Ally Stanton will battle for playing time in left field. Stanton may also see time in right field, but freshman lefty Liz Kocon of Katy, Texas may fight for time as well. Providing depth in the outfield will be senior Sara Sidebottom and sophomore Caitlin Kenney.

Elle Pottorf returned to her pre-shoulder surgery form in the latter stages of the season and projects to be KU’s starting catcher next season. Sophomore Tiffany Craner, a 15-game starter behind the plate, will also be in the mix, especially as a defensive specialist. Local newcomer Brittany Hile of Olathe, Kan., will also compete for playing action.

Valerie George, Sarah Vertelka and freshman newcomer Allie Clark will have the difficult challenge of replacing Kassie Humphreys in the circle. George and Vertelka split time behind Humphreys in 2007 and will compete to earn the role of the Kansas ace next season. Clark, a highly respected player from Hesperia, Calif., will also figure in the mix to replace Humphreys.