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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

KU hopes to rally during homestand

Bunge wants Jayhawk bats to wake up

March 31, 2004

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Tracy Bunge isn't seeing spots in front of her eyes. Kansas University's softball coach is seeing zeroes.

KU has been shut out in five of its last six games, all road losses.

"We need to score some runs," Bunge said.

The Jayhawks (20-15 overall, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) will be hoping to re-discover their offense today when they play host to Nebraska. Game time will be 4 p.m. at Arrocha Ballpark.

KU's new softball facility has been hitter-friendly so far -- especially with the wind blowing out -- but if Nebraska (22-11, 2-0) uses Peaches James on the mound today, scoring could be difficult. In the Jayhawk Classic earlier this month, James tossed a two-hitter in a 1-0 victory over the Jayhawks.

However, in the same tourney, KU touched NU pitcher Summer Tobias for home runs by Serena Settlemier and Sandy Smith in a 3-0 victory that also was highlighted by freshman Kassie Humphreys' one-hit pitching.

Bunge said she was undecided whether to pitch Humphreys (9-5, 1.71 earned-run average) or senior Kara Pierce (11-7, 2.03 ERA) against the Huskers today.

Humphreys returned to the mound for the first time in more than a week when the Jayhawks opened Big 12 play Saturday at Baylor. Humphreys had been out because of an undisclosed injury.

Pierce and Humphreys each pitched against BU, and each was a 2-0 loser. KU was no-hit by Baylor's Cristin Vitek in one game and managed only three singles and a double by Heather Stanley in the other loss.

KU's lone runs in the last six games came on a two-run home run by Settlemier in a 5-2 loss last week at Oregon State. Although batting only .253, Settlemier has a team-leading 10 home runs, 17 RBIs and .410 on-base percentage.

Destiny Frankenstein is the Jayhawks' only plus-.300 hitter. The sophomore shortstop is hitting .304 with a team-high six doubles. KU's team batting average has dipped to .215 during the recent slump.

Kansas has four more home games scheduled during the next five days. The Jayhawks will entertain Creighton in a 2 p.m. doubleheader Thursday, then resume conference play with single games Saturday and Sunday against Texas Tech.

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