Courtesy: UMKC Athletics/MSH Photography
‘Roos Set To Open Summit League Play Against South Dakota
Courtesy:UMKC Athletics
Release:03/09/2012
(Kansas, City, Mo.) - The UMKC softball team (9-5, 0-0 SL) will begin its regular season Summit League title defense this weekend in a three-game set against the South Dakota Coyotes (2-17, 0-0 SL) at the Missouri 3&2 Field.

Saturday, will be a doubleheader with the first game beginning at 1 p.m. and the second at 3 p.m., while Sunday's contest is set to start at 12 p.m.

THE OPPONENT

» UMKC vs. South Dakota (2-17, 0-0 SL)

In its inaugural season as members of The Summit League, South Dakota enters this weekend on a four-game skid, including a 1-9 performance in the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. earlier this week.

At the plate, Katie Dinning and Bre Zmolek are both hitting a team-high .333, while Dinning is the team leader in hits (21) and at-bats (63). Also, Alexa Rudeen is first in RBI (10) and second in hits (14).

On the mound, three pitchers have started at least five games this season for South Dakota, led by Erica Denney (1-7) with eight.  In 10 appearances, Denney holds a team-best 4.26 ERA along with 29 strikeouts.  As for Missy Blackburn (1-4), she has appeared in 13 games and currently holds a 5.91 ERA with 25 strikeouts, while Paige Policky (0-5) has an ERA of 7.85 with six strikeouts in nine appearances.  

At the helm, head coach Amy Klyse entered her fifth season at South Dakota with 94 wins, which was the second most of any coach in school history.  Currently, the Sacramento, Calif. native holds a 96-120-1 overall record.

» The Series: The 'Roos are 6-0 all-time against the Coyotes.  Last season, the two squads faced twice in the Dakota's Round Robin Tournament (April 16-17) in Olathe, Kan. as the 'Roos won both games. 

In the first contest, the 'Roos defeated South Dakota 2-0 with Deanna Friese (2-4) tossing a complete-game, one-hitter with 15 strikeouts. 

The next day, UMKC closed out the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record after beating the Coyotes 5-3 in a come-from-behind victory.

KANGAROOS GO 3-1 IN THE MISSOURI CVC TOURNEY; CURRY, MAPLES, AND RAMOS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

March 2-4, the Blue & Gold hosted the Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament as it went 3-1 with wins over Saint Louis, Missouri State, and Southeast Missouri, while suffering its lone loss to No. 12 Missouri.

On the Kangaroos side, three athletes were named to the all-tournament team with senior Kaelene Curry, freshman Marlee Maples, and freshman Cinda Ramos receiving honors.

In four games, Curry hit .500 with seven hits and four runs scored along with one stolen base, while Maples batted .600 with six hits, three RBI, two walks, one triple, and one run scored along with her first career homerun.  

As for Ramos, she went 2-0 in two starts to finish with a 0.50 ERA while recording two strikeouts and giving up one earned run.

COACH SMITH REACHES THE CENTURY MARK IN WINS

In a 7-0 win over the Missouri State Bears on March 3 in the Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, the reigning Summit League Coach of the Year, Meredith Smith, became the first coach in team history to reach 100 wins.

In her sixth season, Smith currently holds an overall record of 101-158 (47-59 SL) along with a school-best .390 winning percentage. 

CURRY PICKING UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF

In 54 games last season, infielder Kaelene Curry finished as the team's leader in batting (.378), runs scored (46), hits (65), and on-base percentage (.454). 

Through 14 games in 2012, the reigning Summit League Player of the Year is first on the team in at-bats (42), hits (18), and runs (10), while second in batting (.429) and third in slugging percentage (.429).  League wise, she ranks third in hitting, tied for fifth in hits, and third in on-base percentage.

Currently, the Downers Grove, Ill. native is riding a five-game hit streak.

THE EMILY OTT DRIVE-IN

After finishing second on the team in RBI (35) behind Anna Sokolik (36) in 2011, Emily Ott leads the team this season with nine.  Earlier in the season, the Des Plaines, Ill. held a five-game hitting streak while batting .529 with nine hits, six RBI, and two runs.

MOVING UP THE CAREER LIST

This past week, four Kangaroo student-athletes moved up the all-time UMKC career list in seven different categories.

Kaelene Curry moved into seventh all-time for most at-bats (491), second most stolen bases (43), and 10th for most games played (163), while Kelly Fischer moved into sixth for most RBI (51), sixth for most walks (41), and tied Sarah Allen (2003-06) for the fifth most sacrifices (28).

Also, Emily Ott tied with Kerri Miller (1992-95) and Marci Wedel (1998-00) for the fifth most stolen bases (29). 

On the mound, Deanna Friese is now tied with Jeneane Mudloff (1988-91) for the fourth most games pitched (84).       

THROUGH 14 GAMES IN 2011... 

The 'Roos were 9-5 coming off a 3-2 performance in the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational in Orlando, Fla. on Feb. 25-27 with wins over Maine, Central Florida, and North Florida, while losing to No. 9 Michigan and Villanova.

Similar to last season, the Blue & Gold currently owns a 9-5 record through 14 games heading into its league-opening series against South Dakota this weekend.

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