KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (12-37, 2-13 WAC) is set to wrap up the 2018 regular season with a three-game home set against South Dakota this weekend. Game one of the series will be played on Friday, May 4 at 6 p.m. CT before concluding with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 5 beginning at 11 a.m. CT.
Saturday will serve as Senior Day for the Roos, with a ceremony set to take place in between the two games of the doubleheader. The team will honor the five student athletes – Lysney Conner (Peggs, Okla.), Sara Miller (Marietta, Ga.), Ashlin O'Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.), Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and Alyx Bloom (Clay Center, Kan.) – whose eligibility is set to expire at season’s end.
UMKC opens up their final series of the 2018 regular season looking to end on a high note after dropping their previous four contests. The team picked up an impressive series win over CSU Bakersfield prior to the skid and will push for similarly strong performances in the weekend set against South Dakota.
Senior infielders Goodwin and O’Brien have moved up the UMKC career leaderboards during their final seasons and have a chance climb even further with a handful of games remaining. Goodwin currently sits at 164 hits and .309 average for her career both are eighth all-time in program history while her 93 runs scored, 33 doubles and 56 walks rank fifth. O’Brien ranks 10th all-time with a career .300 batting average and sits just outside the top-10 in hits, runs scored and RBI’s.
Both players are in the midst of strong finishes to the 2018 season as they further cement their UMKC legacies. Goodwin is hitting .478 (11 for 23) with two home runs and eight RBI’s in her previous seven contests. O’Brien has been equally productive, hitting .526 (10 for 19) with a double and five runs driven in over the past six games.
Conner also sits among the program leaders as she finished up her second strong season in the circle for the Roos. Her 62 appearances rank 10th all-time in UMKC career history and her 45 starts in the circle sit ninth, just two shy of a spot up the leaderboard.
Defensively, the Roos will look to clean up what has been a tough stretch in the field. The team has committed 10 errors over the last five games, leading to eight unearned runs scored by opponents.
UMKC vs South Dakota
Location: Kansas City, Mo. (Urban Youth Academy)
Series: UMKC leads 11-9
Last Meeting: April 12, 2015 (7-6 South Dakota)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Live In-Game Update: @umkcsb
Scouting the Coyotes
South Dakota (15-36, 5-9 Summit) closes out their regular season with the weekend series as well and heads into the matchups riding a seven-game losing streak in addition to dropping 10 of their last 11. The team has faced some overly stiff competition of late, playing two games apiece against #1 UCLA and #25 Oklahoma State last weekend.
The Coyotes lineup boasts three players hitting above the .300 mark and four players with six or more home runs on the season. Junior catcher Jessica Rogers is the centerpiece, leading the team in batting average (.354), slugging percentage (.692), home runs (12) and RBI’s (36). Primarily hitting third in the lineup, the Roos pitchers will need to shut down the hitters in front of Rogers to limit her run producing opportunities.
Runs have been hard to come by for South Dakota of late, however, as they have struck for just three total runs over their last seven contests. Tough pitching matchups can be attributed to the offensive draught but UMKC will look to keep the Coyotes from regaining their stride for another weekend.
Defense has been a weakness for South Dakota throughout the season, holding a rather poor fielding percentage of .934 as a team. The miscues in the field have paved the way for 76 unearned runs scored by opponents on the year, an area UMKC hitters will look to exploit by cutting down on strikeouts and putting the ball in play.
The South Dakota pitching staff is led by junior right-hander Dustie Durham, who holds a 10-13 record with a 4.95 era in a team-leading 23 starts and 124.1 innings pitched on the season. UMKC will likely face Durham as a starter in at least one game in the series but facing her at the back end is also a possibility as she has recorded two saves in seven non-starting appearances in the circle. Sarah Lisko and Alexis Devers have each been utilized significantly as well, combining for 151 innings this season. Both hold era’s over five, giving the Roos a chance to face some hittable pitching.
UMKC will head to Las Cruces, N.M. to compete in the WAC Tournament the following week. The team will square off with Seattle U in the opening game of the tournament on Wednesday, May 9 at 8 p.m. CT. All games in the WAC Tournament will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge.
– UMKC –