OREM, Utah – The UMKC softball team (15-33, 5-7 WAC) will close Western Athletic Conference regular season play at Utah Valley (12-21, 4-8 WAC) this weekend.
The Roos will open the three-game set with a doubleheader on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT, before closing the series on Sunday at 12 p.m. CT.
Live stats for UMKC's games are available at UMKCStats.com.
About the Roos
Kendra Leach (Easton, Kan.) is batting a team-high .398 with 10 doubles and four triples through 48 games. In the WAC, Leach ranks in the top-four in several categories, including batting average, on-base percentage (.487) and slugging percentage (.602). She also has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage along with teammate Abby Warkentine (Auburn, Kan.)
Shortstop Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) has taken 74 total bases in 48 games this season, going 38-for-128 at the plate (.297) while smashing a team-leading 11 home runs and accumulating a team-high 25 runs. The sophomore launched five home runs in five games last week and ranks second in the league in the category.
Leach and Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) are hitting above .300 to lead the team. Goodwin has accumulated 18 runs, seven doubles and a pair of home runs. Utility player Lia Lombardini (Chesterton, Ind.) leads all freshmen at the plate, batting .279 with eight RBIs.
Infielder Bri Sims (Rowlett, Texas) has been given a team-high 25 free bases this season. She is also second on the team in home runs after hitting her third long ball of the season over the center field wall against Grand Canyon on April 8 at Missouri 3&2 Complex.
Ashlin O'Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.), Abbi Johnson (Midwest City, Okla.) and Goodwin have each hit a pair of home runs, while Faith Willis (Kearney, Mo.) and Maegan Rollow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) have each hit one out of the park this season.
Freshman Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) has been caught stealing just once out of her 10 stolen base attempts this season. Her 10 attempts is the seventh-most in the WAC this season.
As a team, UMKC currently ranks first in the WAC in walks (146), second in steal attempts (52), and third in doubles (46) and triples (8).
When UMKC swept CSU Bakersfield to open WAC play, it was just the fourth time since joining the league that the Roos swept a conference opponent. The Roos also swept the Roadrunners and Seattle U last season and Utah Valley in 2015.
Byrn received WAC Hitter of the Week laurels on Feb. 27 after bombing three home runs in two games at the UTA Invitational. She went 7-for-14 from the plate over the course of five games and accounted for five of the team's 11 RBIs.
Freshman Alex Larson (Overland Park, Kan.) was named WAC Pitcher of the Week on Feb 20 for her notable performances against Rider at the Battle at the Beach on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19. Between the two games, Larson pitched 8.2 innings, giving up just five hits while throwing three strikeouts. The right-hander also posted a 0.00 ERA in both appearances.
Leach and Sims were each named to the 2017 Preseason All-WAC team in a poll by the league's coaches.
Sims, a 2016 All-WAC first team selection, returns to the field for UMKC this season with second-team members Goodwin and Byrn. The Roos finished 24-26 overall and 10-5 in the WAC in 2016.
Scouting the Opponent
UMKC holds the all-time series over Utah Valley, 9-4, after taking two of the three games in Kansas City, Mo., last season. The last time the Roos faced the Wolverines in Utah, UMKC swept the series.
Utah Valley enters the weekend on a four-game losing streak, but have a 7-3 record when playing on its home field. The Wolverines most recently fell to No. 21 BYU in six innings in Provo, Utah.
UMKC will travel to Omaha for a single game against the Mavericks at 2 p.m. on May 2 to conclude the 2017 regular season.
– UMKC –