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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Jayhawks entertain Sooners

OU 'dangerous' offensive team

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Those who would characterize college softball as a game dominated by pitching haven't seen Oklahoma University's hitting stats.

The Sooners lead the Big 12 Conference with a robust .340 team batting average, and they also rank first in runs, RBIs and on-base percentage.

"They're a very dangerous and potent offensive team," Kansas University coach Tracy Bunge said. "We'll have to get good pitching to have a chance."

Oklahoma (42-10 overall, 10-3 Big 12) will meet the Jayhawks (20-19, 3-7) in a two-game weekend series at Arrocha Ballpark. Game times are 2 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Freshman left-hander Christina Ross (9-6, 1.61 earned-run average) will pitch one of the games, and junior right-hander Serena Settlemier (8-7, 2.99 ERA) will be on the mound in the other.

Ross turned in her most impressive performance of the season Wednesday in Lincoln, Neb., when she hurled the Jayhawks to a 2-0 triumph over Nebraska.

"She's pitching much different mentally than she did a month ago," Bunge said. "She was aggressive and had good velocity, location and movement. She has confidence going at hitters."

Kansas can't touch OU's offensive numbers, but the Jayhawks have some weapons -- notably shortstop Destiny Frankenstein, a native Oklahoman (Broken Arrow), and outfielders Ashley Frazer and Heather Stanley.

In conference games, Frazer is hitting .462, Frankenstein .379 and Stanley .321. In addition, Frankenstein and Stanley have hit three home runs apiece in the 10 league games.

Overall, Frankenstein continues to pace the Jayhawks in just about every offensive category -- batting (.355), runs (28), hits (38), home runs (9), slugging percentage (.673) and on-base percentage (.466).

Oklahoma counters with the Big 12's leading hitter in Kristin Vesely (.486) and the league's wins leader in pitcher Kami Keiter (24-4). Keiter has also slugged six home runs in OU's 13 league games.

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