Courtesy: UMKC Athletics/MSH Photography
Kangaroos Hit the Road for a Crucial League Series Against South Dakota State
Courtesy:UMKC Athletics
(Kansas City, Mo.) - Friday (2 p.m. and 4 p.m.) and Saturday (12 p.m.), the UMKC softball team (15-19, 3-6 SL) will head to South Dakota State (7-17-1, 2-7 SL) for an important league road test.

Currently, the Kangaroos sit sixth in the league standings behind South Dakota (8-27, 6-6 SL), Southern Utah (20-16, 8-4 SL), IPFW (25-9, 8-4 SL), Western Illinois (20-15, 10-2 SL), and North Dakota State (24-12, 8-1 SL), while the Jackrabbits are eighth behind IUPUI (10-23, 2-7 SL).  


» South Dakota State Jackrabbits (7-17-1, 2-7 Summit League as of April 5)

With a 1-0 loss to IPFW on March 10, it began a stretch of 10 straight losses for the Jackrabbits before beating South Dakota on March 30, 8-4.  Coming into its series with the Kangaroos, South Dakota State has won three out of its last five games.

At the plate, outfielder Devon Reick is hitting .311 with a team-leading 23 hits for the season, while outfielder Emily Weber leads the team in RBI (8) and tied with outfielder Krista Honken for the team leader in home runs (2).

Pitching wise, Pam Nicholson holds a team-best 2.93 ERA to go along with 49 strikeouts in 15 appearances, while Kori Seidlitz (3-7)  has struck out 45 batters in 14 appearances as she holds a 4.91 ERA.

» The Head Coach: Kim Aggabao is in her first year at the helm after spending seven seasons as an assistant coach at the University of San Diego.

» The Series: The 'Roos are 8-5 all-time against the Jackrabbits.  Last season on March 26-27, UMKC took two out of three in the season series as the Kangaroos won the first two games, 5-0 and 5-1, but fell 9-7 in five innings to due inclement weather in the finale.


The Kangaroos settled for a split in a doubleheader matchup with the Missouri State Bears earlier in the week on Tuesday as UMKC took game one, 7-3, but fell 4-2 in game two.

In game one, the Kangaroos scored six runs in the sixth to make it a 7-0 game as pitcher Deanna Friese (6-10) allowed five hits and two earned runs along with 10 strikeouts to complete her 13th game of the season.

As for game two, the score remained tied at one going into the seventh until Bears infielder Stevie Pierce singled to bring in a runner from third.  Later in the inning with the bases loaded, infielder Heather Duckworth singled to right as two runners scored to make it a 4-1 ball game.

The Kangaroos would cut the deficit to two when infielder Megan Ussary scored on an error by the Bears as catcher Caitlin Christopher reached on a fielder's choice and outfielder Anna Sokolik was tagged out at third.  Next up, infielder Marlee Maples went down swinging to end the game.


On Monday, the NCAA released its second RPI rankings of 2012 as the Kangaroos claimed the 140th spot.  In 2011, UMKC finished with its highest ranking in team history at 117. 


With the Kangaroos playing three games in the next two days, infielder Kaelene Curry needs four hits to past Amanda Rice (1999-02) for most all-time (201), while outfielder Emily Ott needs to drive in nine to pass Rice for the most RBI (97).  


The 'Roos were 9-5 in the Summit League and 22-12 overall coming off a 6-2 win over Centenary in the second game of a doubleheader on April 9.    

Currently, the Blue & Gold are 15-19 (3-6 SL) heading into a three-game series against South Dakota State on Friday and Saturday.


Will be a three-game set at home against IUPUI next weekend on Saturday (12 p.m. and 2 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.).  

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