(Kansas City, Mo.) – The Kansas City softball team finalized its 2014 schedule on Wednesday.
The ‘Roos fought through a weather-affected 17-25 campaign in 2013, during which time the team was forced to cancel or postpone 17 games. Still, UMKC found itself within a win of The Summit League Championship game.
Kansas City will open the 2014 season in Hammond, La., site of the Lion Classic, in the first of seven tournaments prior to settling into the conference slate. Along the way, UMKC will play 10 games versus opponents from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, and SEC.
“We’re very excited for the season to start,” said head coach Meredith Smith Neal. “We’ve never been shy about putting together a competitive schedule. Facing quality opponents is the best way to prepare ourselves for conference play.”
The ‘Roos will see a handful of opponents at the Lion Classic, including Texas Tech in what will be the first of two meetings for the teams. One week later, UMKC will take part in the Arkansas Invitational, where it will meet St. John’s, Jackson State, North Carolina State and Butler, before closing out with the host Razorbacks. Arkansas finished 2013 ranked No. 24.
Kansas City will travel to the Lone Star State Feb. 21-23 to compete in the UT-Arlington Hilton Invitational. In addition to a pair of games versus the Mavericks, UMKC will also play Illinois twice and the Red Raiders for the second and final time of the regular season.
Tournament play will take on a more local feel during the month of March, as the ‘Roos are scheduled to compete in the All-Missouri Cancer Classic, the Wichita State Tourney, and the UMKC Invitational, before finishing up at the Mizzou Tournament. While in Columbia, Mo., Kansas City will meet North Dakota State, Oklahoma State and Ball State, finishing up with the host Missouri Tigers. The Tigers ended 2013 ranked No. 11.
The ‘Roos will head west to Los Angeles, Calif., March 25-26, for the team’s final non-conference road swing of the spring. Kansas City will play a double-header versus Loyola Marymount, followed by a match-up with Hawaii. The Rainbow Wahine closed out 2013 ranked No. 25.
Kansas City will take the brief flight from Los Angeles to Phoenix, Ariz., the following day, and will begin play in the Western Athletic Conference for the first time in program history with a three-game set versus fellow-newcomer Grand Canyon on March 28-29.
The ‘Roos will host WAC foes New Mexico State, Utah Valley and Bakersfield, and travel to Seattle – the host of the WAC Tournament.