Kansas Softball Season Wrap-Up
June 6, 2006
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
36-26 OVERALL, 8-10 BIG 12 CONFERENCE
2006 BIG 12 POSTSEASON CHAMPIONS
SECOND CONSECUTIVE NCAA REGIONAL BID
NO. 24 RANKING IN ESPN.COM/USA SOFTBALL NATIONAL POLL
2006 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
Kansas won its first-ever Big 12 Championship on May 13 and advanced to the NCAA Regionals for the second straight season in 2006. The Jayhawks fell to 14th-seeded Washington in the Provo, Utah, regional championship and finished the season 36-26 overall. Senior utility player Serena Settlemier (Kelso, Wash.) was named a 2006 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Second Team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association just two weeks after being named the 2006 Big 12 Softball Player of the Year.
Junior pitcher Kassie Humphreys (Glendale, Ariz.), a 2006 NFCA Second-Team All-Region selection, joined Settlemier (first-team all-region) in earning All-Big 12 First Team honors and ranking in the top three in the conference in earned run average.
KANSAS QUICK HITS
-KU has made 10 trips to the NCAA Regionals in the last 25 years and gone four times under head coach Tracy Bunge in the past 10 seasons.
-The Jayhawks won their first-ever Big 12 Championship on May 13 in Oklahoma City, Okla. KU, seeded sixth, knocked off No. 3 Baylor, No. 7 Missouri, No. 2 Nebraska and No. 5 Oklahoma to become the lowest seed to advance to and win the Big 12 title game.
-Senior pitcher/designated player Serena Settlemier, the 2006 Big 12 Player of the Year, led the KU offense with a .326 batting average and ranked second on the pitching staff with a 1.44 ERA.
-Settlemier leaves KU with an all-time home runs record of 44. Destiny Frankenstein finished her career second at Kansas with 31, while departing seniors Jessica Moppin (29) and Nettie Fierros (15) also rank in KU’s career Top 10.
-With the Jayhawks’ wins over Creighton on April 20, 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.
NCAA REGIONAL WRAP-UP
After earning an automatic bid to the 2006 NCAA Field of 64, Kansas battled but was defeated by #14 Washington, 3-0, May 20 in the championship round of the 2006 NCAA Regional tournament in Provo, Utah … KU defeated BYU twice (3-0, 2-1) but fell to the Huskies in double elimination play (6-0, 3-0) … With the 2-2 performance in Provo, the Jayhawks ended their season 36-26 overall … Junior hurler Kassie Humphreys led KU in regional play with a 2-1 record, 1.33 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 21 innings … Senior outfielder Heather Stanley paced the offense with a .300 batting average and two RBI through four games.
SIX SENIORS LEAVE THEIR MARK ON KU PROGRAM
The end of the 2006 season meant the departure of six Jayhawks seniors — Nettie Fierros (Avondale, Ariz.), Destiny Frankenstein (Broken Arrow, Okla.), Ashley Goodrich (Kewanee, Ill.), Jessica Moppin (Olathe, Kan.), Serena Settlemier (Kelso, Wash.) and Heather Stanley (Houston, Texas). As a senior class, these six Jayhawks totaled 721 hits, 133 home runs and combined for 126 wins at KU. Settlemier leaves KU the school’s all-time career leader in home runs (44), RBI (117) and slugging percentage (.583).
SETTLEMIER TABBED SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN
Kansas senior Serena Settlemier (Kelso, Wash.) was named a 2006 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Second Team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association. Settlemier, who was named NFCA Midwest First Team All-Region on May 18, earned the national honor as a utility player. A right-handed pitcher and designated player, Settlemier became the first Jayhawk to receive NFCA All-America honors since Christi Musser in 2002. Settlemier is just the 11th softball player in school history to be named All-American. Settlemier was named the 2006 Big 12 Player of the Year after an outstanding senior campaign in the circle and batter’s box. In her senior season, Settlemier led the conference in home runs (22), RBI (61) and slugging percentage (.771). She led the KU offense with a .326 batting average and blasted six grand slams. On the rubber, Settlemier went 17-7 and posted a 1.44 ERA to rank third in the Big 12. She was named Big 12 Player of the Week twice in 2006, including on April 25 when she also was tabbed USA Softball co-National Player of the Week.
TWO JAYHAWKS EARN ALL-REGION, NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Senior Serena Settlemier and junior Kassie Humphreys were honored by the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association with the announcement of the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Midwest All-Region Teams. Settlemier was a first team selection as a utility player while Humphreys was a second team pick as a pitcher. The duo also earned USA Softball National Player of the Week honors — Humphreys on May 16 after leading KU to a Big 12 Postseason Championship and Settlemier on April 25 after she posted a 0.44 ERA and totaled 12 RBI at the plate.
KANSAS RANKED 24TH IN ESPN.COM/USA SOFTBALL NATIONAL POLL
Kansas was ranked 24th in the most recent ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll released on May 16. The national ranking was KU’s first of the season after receiving votes in four of the weekly polls. The Jayhawks concluded the 2006 season with an overall record of 36-26 — the most victories since 1997. KU has compiled eight 30-win seasons and been to the NCAA Regionals four times in the last 10 years under head coach Tracy Bunge.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP LEFTOVERS
Kansas softball defeated Oklahoma, 4-2, May 13 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City to win the 2006 Big 12 Championship and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals … The Jayhawks entered the postseason tournament the No. 6 seed — the lowest seed to ever reach the Big 12 Championship game … KU defeated No. 3 Baylor, No. 7 Missouri and No. 2 Nebraska before upsetting the No. 5 Sooners for the championship crown … Serena Settlemier, the 2006 Big 12 Player of the Year, was named tournament MVP, while Jessica Moppin and Kassie Humphreys were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts … Settlemier and Humphreys were named All-Big 12 First Team and Humphreys, Nicole Washburn, Destiny Frankenstein and Ashley Goodrich earned Academic All-Big 12 honors earlier in the week.
SETTLEMIER NAMED BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Serena Settlemier was named the 2006 Big 12 Softball Player of the Year May 10 at the league’s annual postseason banquet. Settlemier, a pitcher/designated player from Kelso, Wash.,became the first KU softball player to be tabbed Player of the Year. Through the regular season, Settlemier led the conference in home runs (21), RBI (59) and slugging percentage (.815). She led the KU offense with a .331 batting average and the pitching staff with a 1.21 ERA (16-6) in addition to posting six grand slams. Settlemier hit at a .295 clip during Big 12 play, while maintaining a 0.83 ERA in the circle. She also ranked third in opponent batting average at .166. Settlemier was named Big 12 Player of the Week twice this season, including on April 25 when she also was tabbed USA Softball Co-National Player of the Week. She received all-conference recognition for the second time in her career after being named to the second team last season.
In 2006, 24 of the Jayhawks’ 62 games (39 percent) were decided by just one run. The trend did not usually go in KU’s favor as the Jayhawks lost 14 games by one run and won just 10 by the narrow margin. The team improved its close-game strategy as eight of the 10 one-run victories came in the months of April and May.
BUNGE EARNS 400TH CAREER COACHING VICTORY
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’S GRAND SLAMS
Although the NCAA does not keep records for grand slams, Serena Settlemier’s six on the season were the most in Division I softball in 2006. Remarkably, she went 7-for-8 with bases loaded in 2006, with six of those hits being home runs. The only other NCAA Division I player known to hit six grand slams in a season was Arizona’s Lovie Jung in 2003. Settlemier’s 22 home runs, 61 RBI and 135 total bases were the most in KU history. She also finished with a program-best 44 career homers and 117 RBI.
Kansas finished second only to Baylor (68) in the Big 12 in home runs in 2006 with 49 dingers through 62 games. KU hit 54 homers in 55 games in 2005, setting a new Jayhawk program best. Seniors Serena Settlemier (22 homers) and Destiny Frankenstein (10) accounted for 32 of the 49 blasts and hold the KU all-time career records at 44 and 31, respectively.
HUMPHREYS IN THE CIRCLE
Junior pitcher Kassie Humphreys (Glendale, Ariz.) was the Jayhawks’ leader in the circle in 2006. An All-Big 12 First team selection in 2006, Humphreys (19-17) held hitters to a .156 batting average and posted a 1.19 ERA (both ranked second in the Big 12) and 262 strikeouts through 234.2 innings. Her 262 K’s in 2006 rank third on the KU single-season record list.
FRANKENSTEIN WRAPS UP A GREAT CAREER
Senior shortstop Destiny Frankenstein, an NFCA First Team All-Region selection in 2005, is one of the best hitters to ever wear a Jayhawk uniform. Frankenstein (Broken Arrow, Okla.), who hit .297 in 2006, started all 226 games at shortstop since her arrival in Lawrence as a freshman in 2003. Her 31 career home runs are the second-most in KU history.
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