LAWRENCE, Kan. - Former University of Kansas softball players Jessica Moppin and Kassie Humphreys will travel to Russia this week to participate in a pair of tournaments with the Russian National Softball team over the next eight weeks.
Moppin, who played second base for the Jayhawks from 2003-06, is making her second trip to Russia in as many years to play for the Russian National Team. The Kansas infielder was approached in 2006 after KU's season by a Russian coach who was impressed with the Moppin's abilities and asked her to compete overseas. Moppin enjoyed the experience so much she decided to participate with the Russian team once again this summer and recruited Kansas pitcher Kassie Humphreys to make the trip along with her.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing all the players from the [Russian] team again," said Moppin. "The girls on the team are really great and I made some really good friends last year. I'm also really excited to be playing with Kassie again."
Humphreys recently wrapped up a four-year stint as a pitcher for Kansas where she earned All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2006 and was selected to the Big 12 Tournament Team in 2006 and 2007.
"I'm really excited to experience and learn about the Russian culture," said Humphreys on the opportunity to travel overseas. "I'm really looking forward to exploring Moscow and Holland and also for the chance to play ball one last time."
Moppin and Humphreys, who have been training together for the last three months to prepare, will be the only two Americans on a team consisting of 13-15 women and ranging anywhere from 17 to 28 years of age. The pair will try and help Russia to its 14th consecutive title in the National Championship Tournament. The tournament begins on Wednesday, July 18 and consists of four rounds of play. After the Russian National Championship Tournament, the KU duo and the Russian team will then travel to Holland to compete in the European Cup at the beginning of September before finally returning to the States.