KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (7-18) will host South Dakota State this weekend for a four-game set in their home opening series of the 2018 season. The series will begin on Friday, Mar. 23 at 5 p.m. before continuing with a pair of games on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. CT. The finale will be played on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT to wrap up the series.
UMKC vs. South Dakota State
Location: Kansas City, Mo. (Urban Youth Academy)
Series: UMKC leads 19-8
Last Meeting: Apr. 11, 2017 (3-2 UMKC)
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Live In-Game Update: @umkcsb
UMKC strides into the home-opener after an 11-5 midweek loss on the road at Missouri State after posting a solid showing in the Rock Chalk Challenge last weekend in Lawrence, Kansas. The series with South Dakota State will be the first games played at Urban Youth Academy, the new home of the Roos.
Pitchers Sara Miller (Marietta, Ga.) and Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.) had strong showings in the circle during the Rock Chalk Challenge and will look to build on their efforts against South Dakota State. The duo combined to allow 10 earned runs over 25 innings of work with 10 strikeouts to seven walks.
In addition to her success in the circle, Fluehr continues to serve as a formidable threat in UMKC lineup. Despite a tough 0 for 3 game against Missouri State, Fluehr sits second on the team in batting average (.304) and leads the club in home runs (5), slugging percentage (.551) and RBI’s (23) on the season. Her five long balls ranks fourth in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) while her RBI total sits fifth in the league.
Sophomore Lia Lombardini (Chesterton, Ind.) has been unstoppable at the plate recently. She heads into the weekend series riding a six-game hit streak, hitting .333 (7 for 21) with three home runs and nine RBI’s over the stretch.
Sophomore outfielder Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) broke out of a minor slump last weekend to regain her status as a great on-base and stolen base threat at the top of the Roos lineup. Entering the weekend, Garcia was in the midst of a 3 for 26 stretch over 11 contests but bounced back to hit .412 (7 for 17) in the Rock Chalk Challenge, adding a pair of steals to bring her season total up to a team-best nine on the year. She put together another solid performance against Missouri State going 1 for 3 and driving in a two runs in the contest.
Alyx Bloom (Clay Center, Kan.) has started to heat up offensively while continuing to serve as the lone catcher for the Roos. Beginning with the opening game of the Rock Chalk Challenge, Bloom has hit .313 (5 for 16) and picked up her first home run of her UMKC career Tuesday night. Bloom has been tremendous in shutting down the running game, leading the WAC with eight runners gunned down on the season.
Scouting the Jackrabbits
South Dakota State (16-9) enters the series after a two-game sweep on the road at Iowa, winning by final scores of 4-1 and 5-2. The Jackrabbits have been put together an impressive month of March, compiling a 10-4 record which includes an 8-2 showing at the USF-Under Armour Showcase.
The team is led offensively by senior infielder Abbey Murphy who leads the team in batting average (.464), on-base percentage (.535) and slugging percentage (.619). She ranks second on the team in doubles (9) and in RBI’s (21) on the season as well. Over the past six games, Murphy has been red hot hitting .647 (11 for 17) with seven runs scored and three runs driven in.
South Dakota State features a pair of players – Ali Herdliska and Mallory McQuistan - their lineup with dangerous power. The duo has each tallied three home runs apiece and have combined for 34 RBI’s on the year.
The Jackrabbits have relied on senior Madison Pope and freshman Taylor Compton as their primary pitchers thus far in 2018. Pope leads the team with 80.2 innings pitched, holding a 9-3 record with a team-best 3.47 era. Most recently, Pope threw nine dominant innings combined in the double-header against Iowa, allowing just one run (unearned) on four hits while striking out six. Compton has tossed 63.1 innings and holds a record of 6-6 with a 4.97 era.
UMKC will head to the nation’s capital over spring break to play three games over the week against Morgan State and UMBC. The team will square off with Morgan State in a double-header on Tuesday, Mar. 27 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. CT before wrapping up the trip with a contest against UMBC on Wednesday, Mar. 28 at 1 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –