Checking In With Moppin And Humphreys In Russia

July 26, 2007


Last week two former KU softball players, Jessica Moppin and Kassie Humphreys, left for Russia for an eight week stint to play softball with the Russian National Softball Team. After their first week of games, the team is 10-0 and has two rounds remaining in the national championship.

Read below to find out how the two did in their first week of games and their reactions to their new environment overseas:

Individual Stats after 10 games:

Moppin: Started seven of eight games at middle infield, .590 batting average (13-22), 15 RBIs, four singles, five doubles, three triples, two home runs (one grand slam), no strikeouts, five walks, no errors.

Humphreys: (Pitching) 12 innings pitched, three hits allowed, 14 strikeouts, no walks, 0.00 ERA.

How did the first week of games go?

Moppin: “Our first week of games went really good. We had only one game where we had to actually play the entire seven innings. We run-spread all the other games. European run-spread is seven after five innings, unlike in NCAA which is eight after five innings. The one game that we played the full seven innings we came back from being down by seven runs and finished the game 14 to seven! The competition in Russia, as you can see, is not that great. The pitching is very behind, making the offense two steps ahead. It was fun to watch Kassie pitch and see everyone’s reactions. The other teams would cheer if one of their teammates fouled a ball off of Kassie.”

What were reactions upon arriving to Russia?

Humphreys: “Things were honestly quite difficult arriving in Russia. It was a big culture shock for me and I found it very hard not being around anyone who speaks English! So the first couple of days were very hard on me, and I suffered a big case of jetlag. But playing and being around the team is a joy! The girls are amazing people and amazing athletes! They have taken us around town and around Russia to see some amazing sights so it has definetly gotten a lot better!”

What does a typical day consist of?

Humphreys: “On days we play we wake up around 9:45 a.m. and go to the field at 10:30 a.m. where we warm up and at noon we have a game break, so we gather up something to eat or the girls take us somewhere to grab something and we come back and play at 4 p.m. Following the game, we are done for the day and we shower and go over to a team

mate’s house to eat dinner with her family. After dinner, we either head back to our room and watch tv, read or just hang out at our teammate’s house until it is late. On days we don’t play, Moppin and I workout (they have a workout room here), and we get picked up by one of our teammates and eat or go to Moscow and hang out…. it just depends on the day.”

What kind of foods do you eat?

Moppin: “The food is just how I remembered it. They eat alot of soup and meat, especially pork. The food is natural, and there is no fast food. It is amazing to see how the young girls can fend for themselves. It is common for 11 and 12 year olds to cook their own meals everyday. The parents work all day and night. Many of them work in Moscow which is 2 hours by train and have to stay the night there only coming home a few days a week. The children mature very fast.”

What does your schedule consist of for the next couple of weeks?

Humphreys: ” I’m looking forward to seeing more of Moscow. They say that it can be compared to New York City. You have to stay a month just to see everything! I’m also looking forward to playing in Holland in a couple more weeks. I hear they speak a little more english there!

Moppin: ” For our time off we are going to visit Red Square in Moscow. I had the priviledge of going once last year and am extremely excited to go again. The architecture is breath-taking! Moscow in itself is a spectical. It is comparable to New York City in size. Kassie and I are excited to get Starbucks when we visit Moscow!”