KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (8-2) will continue play in the 2019 season this weekend competing in the Black and Gold Spring Tournament in Montgomery, Ala., on the campus of Alabama State University. The Roos are scheduled to play five games in the three-day event, beginning Friday at 10 a.m. CST.
There will be live updates on Twitter. Make sure to follow the softball team at @UMKCSB.
Participating Teams in the Tournament
Presbyterian, Howard, Grambling State, Alabama State.
About the Roos
UMKC enters the weekend looking to build on the momentum of getting off to the best start to a season in school history. After sweeping last week’s Eagle Round Robin, which included wins over Mount St. Mary’s (MD.), IUPUI (twice), Morehead State, and Georgia Southern, the Roos’ record now sits at 8-2. The Roos exceeded the previous best of 7-3 starts by both the 2011 and 2015 squads.
Dominant pitching and defensive performances throughout the weekend drove the Roos’ success in Georgia, as UMKC gave up no more than two runs in a single contest at the Eagle Round Robin. Junior pitcher DJ Cannon picked up three wins on the weekend, including two complete games, while surrendering only two earned runs across 12 and 2/3rds innings. Freshman Kailyn Packard also picked up two wins and a save, including one complete game, while only giving up one earned run through 15 innings. Packard now leads the WAC in ERA at 0.56.
The Roos pitching staff, filled with new faces, has only allowed 11 earned runs on the year, which places UMKC at the top of the WAC in total earned runs allowed. The next closest team has allowed 23 earned runs.
UMKC will open play in Alabama against Presbyterian Friday morning 10:00 AM CT before taking on Howard University at 3:00 PM. On Saturday, Feb. 16, the Roos face the host team, Alabama State, at 12:30 PM, followed by a matchup with Grambling State at 5:30 PM. On the final day in Montgomery, UMKC will round out the Black and Gold Spring Tournament with a second game against Howard University at 10:00 AM.
CLICK HERE to view season stats for the team and individuals.
Individual NCAA rankings
- Sydney Garcia – 9th in hits (16)
- D.J. Cannon – 22nd in wins (4), 39th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.0)
- Kailyn Packard – 27th in ERA (.56)
Team NCAA rankings
- 8th in stolen bases per game (2.9)
- 16th in team ERA (1.18)
- 21st in fielding percentage (.979)
- 30th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.21)
- 30th in win-loss percentage (.800)
Head Coach Meredith Smith Neal
The 2019 campaign is the 13th season at UMKC for head coach Meredith Smith Neal. Currently sitting at a school-record 246 career victories, Meredith is just four wins from hitting the prestigious 250-win mark in her career.
The Roos will head to Illinois for the Cougar Classic hosted by Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Mar. 1-3. Opponents will include Western Illinois, Fort Wayne, and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
The Roos are proud members of NCAA Division I and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). In 32 years of intercollegiate varsity softball, which began in 1988, UMKC is 462-955.
Looking back at last year
Looking to bounce back from a 15-41 (2-13) record a season ago, UMKC is only returning four starting position players from last year’s squad and must replace the team’s entire pitching staff. Bringing back two of their outfield starters from last season, the Roos expect big returning seasons from junior Sydney Garcia (.322/.385/.425) and senior Maegan Rollow (.251/.292/.357) to help balance the influx of 11 newcomers, including seven freshmen, to this year’s team.