With the Jackrabbits eliminated from post-season contention by sitting eighth in the league standings, Kansas City is in control for the fourth and final spot in the league tournament with Western Illinois (14-23, 8-14 SL) sitting fifth with no games remaining, while IUPUI (18-28, 7-13 SL) holds down the sixth spot as it will take on Fort Wayne (28-13, 9-4 SL) on the road this weekend.
In Order for the ‘Roos to Clinch…
They will have to play at least one game to meet The Summit League’s minimal 12-game requirement to qualify for the league tournament.
Despite only playing 11 league games this season, the Kangaroos (.455) hold a higher winning percentage over the Leathernecks (.364) and IUPUI (.350).
Therefore, the Kangaroos can clinch a spot in the league tournament by:
» Sweeping or winning two out of three vs. South Dakota State
» Beating South Dakota State once and IUPUI losing twice or getting swept by Fort Wayne
» South Dakota State Jackrabbits 15-29, (5-16 Summit League)
Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Jackrabbits avoided a sweep at the hands of Fort Wayne last weekend with a 4-3 victory at home, which ended an eight-game skid.
Offensively, senior Devon Reick leads SDSU in batting (.363), hits (49) and stolen bases (10), while the Jackrabbits have three players with at least five home runs in catcher Sammy Bingham (6), infielder Marlee Petersen (6) and infielder Elyse Eitel (5). This trio is also SDSU’s RBI leaders with Bingham leading the way with 27, followed by Eitel’s 25 and Petersen’s 19. In addition, Bingham leads in the team in walks with 27.
In the circle, senior Kori Seidlitz (8-19) leads SDSU in wins and strikeouts (133), whereas freshman Jennifer Sutton (5-8) holds the squad’s lowest ERA (4.38) to go along with 44 strikeouts.
» The Head Coach: Kim Aggabao is in her second season at SDSU. In her first season at the helm, the Jackrabbits went 5-16 in league play and 13-27-1 overall.
Last Time Out…
The Kangaroos were swept by league foe South Dakota, followed by Iowa State taking both games in a doubleheader to push UMKC’s losing streak to a season-high of seven games.
In game one against the Coyotes, Kansas City suffered a tough 8-7 loss in 11 innings, despite tying a season-high in hits (18). Meanwhile, South Dakota came away with an 8-1 win in game two to complete the doubleheader.
The series finale, on the other hand, the Coyotes connected on back-to-back solo home runs in the sixth inning by way of catcher Allie Daly (13) and Morgan Hancock (6) in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 3-1 ball game. In the seventh, South Dakota’s defense retired Kansas City’s lineup in order to secure the victory and take the sweep.
Against Iowa State, the Kangaroos battled back to tie the game at four in the sixth when infielder Chelsea Hartwig drove in outfielder Brooke Parker with a single. Although, Iowa State’s offense caught fire during the frame by scoring six runs, headlined by a leadoff home run from infielder Aly Cappaert (4) and a grand slam by infielder Lexi Slater (5) to take a commanding 10-4 lead. In hopes of a rally in the seventh, the Kangaroos were retired in order as Iowa State came away with the win.
Meanwhile, in game two, Kansas City battled back and scored twice in the sixth to tie the game at four when outfielder Bri Wyatt connected for a triple. Yet, similar to game one, Iowa State regained the lead later in the frame and never looked back as Slater drove in three runs with a double to center field to make it a 7-4 ball game.
Four ‘Roos Saying Goodbye
In Sunday’s series finale, seniors Lindsey Davis, Deanna Friese, Chelsea Hartwig and Emily Ott will be honored for Senior Day. Between these players, they have appeared in a combined 571 games, while starting in 502 throughout their time in a Kangaroo uniform.
Different Year, Similar Scenario
With the Kangaroos in a battle for the final spot in the league tournament heading into the final weekend of the regular season, Kansas City faced a similar task at this point last season.
On their way to securing the fourth seed in the league tournament last season, the Kangaroos won seven out of their eight games, including a sweep on the road over Western Illinois in the final weekend of the regular season.
This season, meanwhile, UMKC is looking to make its third consecutive league appearance, despite entering this weekend against South Dakota State on a season-long seven game skid.
The UMKC, SDSU Connection
With the ‘Roos and Jackrabbits squaring off this weekend, sister’s Katie Petersen (UMKC) and Marlee Petersen (SDSU) will be on the field together as opponents.
As natives of Papillion, Neb., Katie has appeared in 25 games while totaling seven runs and two stolen bases in her first season as a Kangaroo, whereas older sister Marlee is batting .241 with 26 hits, 14 runs, six home runs, 19 RBI and 15 walks during her senior season.
Ott Showing Her Worth
In her final go-around as a Kangaroo, senior Emily Ott is getting hot at the right time as UMKC is looking to make a push for the league tournament.
In league play this season, Ott leads Kansas City in batting (.382), hits (13) and doubles (3), while second in slugging (.609) and on-base percentage (.556).
For the year, she leads the squad in doubles (10), total bases (53) and hits (35), while sitting second in batting (.336), on-base percentage (.482), RBI (19) and in a three-way tie for second in home runs (2).
Earlier in the season against Texas Tech on Feb. 16, Ott hit a solo home run to pass Amanda Rice (1999-02) to become the program’s all-time leader in the RBI department with 98. Currently, her career RBI total stands at 114.
Amongst the League Leaders
UMKC currently has six players in the top 10 in multiple statistical categories across The Summit League.
Offensively, freshman Liz Broyles sits eighth in batting average (.362), eighth in on-base percentage (.446) and sixth in triples (2), while senior Emily Ott is 10th in batting average (.336) and fifth in doubles (10). Meanwhile, sophomore Marlee Maples is eighth in RBI (29), whereas freshman Brooke Parker sits sixth (14) and sophomore Bri Wyatt (11) is eighth in the stolen base department.
Pitching wise, senior Deanna Friese is third in strikeouts (164), second in strikeouts per game (8.57), fifth in wins (11), second in saves (2) and seventh in innings pitched (122.2).
Where They Stand in the RPI
Monday, the NCAA released its sixth RPI rankings of the season as the Kangaroos held down the 172nd spot. After finishing the 2011 with their highest ranking in team history at 117th, the Kangaroos finished last season ranked 150th.
Moving Up the Career List
After the last five games, five players moved up in the UMKC record books.
Career wise, Chelsea Hartwig is now eighth in doubles (24), while Marlee Maples is sixth in home runs (6). In addition, Emily Ott sixth in walks (45) and 10th for most games played (181), whereas Cinda Ramos (4-12) is seventh for most innings pitched (268.2), ninth in appearances (55) and ninth in starts (39).
In team single-season history, Deanna Friese (11-11) is now seventh for most complete games (16).
Through 40 Games in 2012...
The Kangaroos were 6-9 in Summit League play and 18-22 overall, coming off a 2-0 win at home over IUPUI.
Next Up of the Kangaroos…
Will be The Summit League tournament (May 9 – 11) in Fargo, N.D., hosted by the North Dakota State Fighting Bison.