KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After strong offensive showing in the midweek doubleheader with Creighton, the UMKC softball team (10-33, 0-9 WAC) will return home to host CSU Bakersfield for a three-game Western Athletic Conference (WAC) series eyeing their first conference wins of the season.
UMKC opens up play on the weekend on the heels of a pair of close one-run road losses to Creighton in midweek action. The team will look to snap what has been a tough 11-game losing skid in dating back to the end of March. Currently sitting in 6th place in the WAC standings, a series win over CSUB would vault the Roos up one spot in the league.
The bats have come to life in a big way for UMKC, scoring an average of 7.3 runs over the past three games stretching back to the series finale with Utah Valley last weekend. The hot stretch has boosted the team’s scoring average to 3.71 runs per game for the 2018 season.
Senior infielder Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) has played a major role in the turnaround offensively, hitting .500 (8 for 16) with a pair of home runs and four RBI’s over the past six games. Both home runs and all four runs driven came in the second game of the Tuesday doubleheader with Creighton.
Speaking of long balls, UMKC will look to continue their power surge after sending six balls over the fence over the past two contests. After a nine-game stretch without a home run, the team has found their stride heading into the final three series’ of the season.
Alex Larson (Overland Park, Kan.) and Faith Willis (Kearney, Mo.) will attempt to build on impressive performances earlier in the week. Recently inserted into the starting lineup, Larson went a combined 3 for 7 with a home run and a pair of RBI’s in the previous two games while Willis went 2 for 7 with a home run and three runs driven in over the same time.
UMKC vs. CSU Bakersfield
Location: Kansas City, Mo. (Urban Youth Academy)
Series: UMKC leads 10-5
Last Meeting: May 11, 2017 (11-10 CSUB)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Live In-Game Update: @umkcsb
Scouting the Roadrunners
CSU Bakersfield (5-31, 2-7 WAC) enters the weekend in the midst of a six-game losing streak, coming off back to back sweeps in conference play at the hands of New Mexico State and Seattle U. The series losses came after a nice start to WAC play, taking two of three games at home against Grand Canyon.
The Roadrunners biggest threat offensive threat comes from senior outfielder Julea Cavazos. Cavazos has started all 36 games on the season and is currently the only player on the team hitting above .300 for the season, sitting with a healthy .333 average to pair with a .467 on-base percentage and six stolen bases. Cavazos has cooled off of late, hitting just .235 (4 for 17) over the past five games, a trend the Roos pitching staff will look to continue.
CSUB’s lineup has struggled to generate much power on the season, boasting just three players with one home run apiece on the year. The three long balls as a team is the lowest in the WAC by a wide margin. Their 2.39 runs scored per game also sits in last place in the league by over one run per game.
The Roadrunners have relied primarily on two pitchers – Summer Evans and Daryn Hitzel – during the 2018 season, with neither having a great deal of success. Evans holds a 1-16 record with an era of 4.45 over a team-leading 111.2 innings in the circle. Hitzel leads the team with three wins on the year, compiling a 5.78 era over 76.1 innings of work.
Defensively, CSUB ranks fifth in the WAC with a .947 fielding percentage but has turned 19 double-plays on the season, good for third in the conference. The Roadrunners have struggled in shutting down the run game, allowing a WAC-most 57 stolen bases on the season. Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) will look to take advantage of the matchup in adding to her team-best 15 steals on the year, which ranks third in the WAC.
The Roos will head to the desert to face Grand Canyon for a three-game WAC series over Apr. 27-28. All three contests will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge.
– UMKC –