KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (5-14) will head to Lawrence, Kansas, for a second consecutive weekend to compete in the Rock Chalk Challenge on Mar. 15-18.
The Roos will open play with a 7 p.m. CT contest on Thursday, Mar. 15 with Western Illinois (6-17) before taking on Saint Louis University (10-9) on Friday, Mar. 16 at 7 p.m. CT. A pair of games await the team on Saturday as UMKC will square off with Murray State (8-13) and Northern Colorado (14-13) at 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT before closing the weekend with host Kansas (17-5) on Sunday, Mar. 18 at 2 p.m. CT.
Live stats for all games in the Rock Chalk Challenge will be available through Sidearm Stats.
UMKC makes the trip back to Lawrence after 1-3 showing in the Jayhawk Invitational last weekend. The event included a narrow one-run loss to host Kansas in the opening game and also saw the Roos pick up their second victory of the season over Northern Iowa in a 5-3 extra innings win.
Senior infielder Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) looks to keep the pace after an impressive four-game stretch last week. Goodwin hit .357 in the previous event, leading the team with five hits and four RBI’s. After getting off to a rather slow start in 2018, the preseason All-WAC selection has seemingly found her stride and is now up to 15 RBI’s on the season, second-most on the team. Goodwin is currently riding a five-game hit streak entering the weekend.
Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.) continues to provide the UMKC offense with thunder in the middle of the lineup. Her game-winning home run in the top of the ninth against Northern Iowa was her fifth of the season, leading the team and good for fourth in the conference, and brought her RBI total to 20 for the year, also a team-best and sixth-most in the WAC.
Sophomore pitcher Andra O'Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) will look to build off a brief yet promising performance in the Jayhawk Invitational. After compiling 70 innings in 2017, second-most on the team, O’Brien has struggled in the circle at times in the early portion of the season but tossed 3.2 innings of one-run ball in what might help turn the corner.
Ashlin O'Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) also looks to continue her solid play after a promising performance in the team’s most recent event. O’Brien led UMKC over the weekend with a .400 batting average and leads the team in 2018 hitting .340 on the year.
A pair of freshmen could work their way into more significant roles after encouraging results early in their careers. Tiler Noyola (Montgomery, Texas), who has already worked her way to 16 starts this season, went 3-for-10 and picked up a stolen base last week. Kamrie Harrison (Moore, Okla.) made a pair of starts and saw action in all four games of the Jayhawk Invitational, picking up three hits in eight at-bats.
While the offense has been up and down thus far in the season, the Roos are doing a fantastic job in putting the ball in play and making defenses work. The team ranks second in the WAC in striking out 4.63 times per game. UMKC also sits third in the conference in drawing three walks per contest.
UMKC will travel to Missouri State for a single game following the Rock Chalk Challenge on Tuesday, Mar. 20 at 5 p.m. CT before returning to Kansas City for the home opening series of 2018 at Urban Youth Academy with South Dakota State on Mar. 24-25.
– UMKC –