KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The No. 5 seed UMKC softball team (26-27, 6-12) kicks-off the WAC Championship this week in Phoenix, Ariz., on May 8-11 against No. 4 seed Utah Valley at 4:30 p.m. CT. All games will be televised by ESPN+.
Last year, the UMKC softball team picked up victories in the tournament against Seattle U (7-1) and Utah Valley (7-4), before falling to New Mexico State (3-14) and Grand Canyon (5-14). Returning from last season’s WAC Championship will be junior Sydney Garcia and senior Maegan Rollow.
“I have been lucky to have been a part of two great WAC Championships where no matter our season record, our team came together and played outstandingly,” Garcia said. “We were definitely the underdog and ended up shocking a lot of people. It was a great experience to come out and play great and upset some of the teams that wrote us off.”
Garcia was an asset for the team throughout last year’s WAC tournament. In the fourth inning she knocked in two with an RBI double against Seattle U, and drove in season-high three runs, with a home run and a triple against New Mexico State.
“We are a very young team, but so far that hasn’t held us back,” Garcia added. “It will be the first WAC Championship for almost half of our team so I hope the excitement will get us playing at a very high level and an intensity that can lead us multiple victories.”
Rollow, meanwhile, will take part in her final tournament after belting a homerun last year against Grand Canyon.
“We need to play the way we know how to play, when we all come together and only focus on the game itself and have fun, we are unstoppable and can take anyone in our conference,” said Rollow. ”I think we have a really good chance this year.”
Head Coach Meredith Smith Neal commented on her hope for her team’s performance.
“We perform well on the road and I know we have the ability to play well in this tournament. We just need to focus on doing a good job in all positions- pitching, hitting, and defense.”
- Kailyn Packard threw a no-hitter on Feb. 23 against Grambling State, striking out 10 with three walks, earning her WAC Pitcher of the Week honors. Her sister, Kelsie Packard, meanwhile, threw a no-hitter for Valparaiso on Mar. 3 against Wagner.
- 26 wins are tied for fifth most of any season, just two away from the third most all-time with at least six games remaining.
- Had a nine game winning streak early this season.
- Batting Average Leaders –
- Runs – Sydney Garcia – 6th – 36
- Doubles Leaders
- Triples Leaders
- Sydney Garcia – 6th - 2
- Complete Games
- Kailyn Packard – 4th - 11
- Kailyn Packard – 2nd – 4
- Kailyn Packard – 3rd - 135
- NCAA Ranks
- UMKC Record Book –
- Sydney Garcia
- Single Season Runs: 7th – 36
- Single Season Hits: t5th – 62
- Single Season Doubles: t5th – 14
- Career Hits: 10th – 160
- Career Triples: 5th – 8
- Career Runs – 6th – 88
- Career Stolen Bases – t6th - 35
- Faith Willis
- Single Season Stolen Base: t5th – 20
- Maegan Rollow
- Career Homeruns: t7th - 12
- Kailyn Packard
- Single Season Strikeouts: 8th – 135
- Sydney Garcia
– UMKC –