(Kansas City, Mo.) – Continuing its season long eight-game homestand, the Kansas City softball team (12-16, 1-2 SL) will take on in-state foe, the No. 8 Mizzou Tigers (23-4, 8-3 SEC), Wednesday in a doubleheader (3 p.m. and 5 p.m.).
Earlier in the season, the two squads were supposed to face off in the Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament on March 3, but the game was cancelled due to inclement weather.
» No. 7 Mizzou Tigers (23-4, 8-3 Southeastern Conference)
Heading into Wednesday’s matchup, the Tigers dropped two out of three in their series on the road against No. 4 Alabama this past weekend.
At the plate, the Tigers have 10 players hitting over .300, including two holding averages over .400. As a team, Mizzou sits 10th in the nation with the highest batting average at .335. Leading the offensive charge is infielder/outfielder Emily Crane batting .400 with a team-high 32 hits, to go along with eight stolen bases, 10 doubles and 18 RBI.
Meanwhile, infielder/outfielder Nicole Hudson (.373) and infielder Kelsea Roth (.354) both have 10 home runs on the season, which is good for 16th in the nation, whereas Angela Randazzo (.361) sits third in the nation with 37 RBI, including eight home runs.
In the circle, senior Chelsea Thomas (14-3) has tallied 131 strikeouts, compared to 32 walks in 20 starts for a 1.50 ERA this season. Also, Hudson (6-0) has seen time as a pitcher while holding a 2.94 ERA with 17 strikeouts under her belt.
» The Head Coach: In his seventh season at the helm, Ehren Earleywine holds a 288-90 (.762) overall record during his tenure with the Tigers. Throughout his time in Columbia, the 2011 Big 12 Coach of the Year has led Mizzou to an NCAA Tournament berth in each season, including three College World Series appearances (2009, 2010, 2011).
» The Series: The Kangaroos are 1-49 all-time against the Tigers. In their last meeting, the Tigers took down UMKC in the 2012 Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, 6-0. The lone win for Kansas City came in 1992 with a 7-5 victory at Mizzou.
Last Time Out…
The Kangaroos dropped two out of three against Omaha to open their home schedule and Summit League action.
To begin the series, the Mavs squeaked out 2-1 wins in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader. In game one, UMKC took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when designated hitter Katie Kelley RBI-singled through the right side to bring in pinch runner Bri Wyatt.
As for pitcher Deanna Friese (8-8), she held a no-hitter through five innings until Omaha’s Lindsay Redding connected for a single to left field, followed by Allie Mathewson knotting the game at one with an RBI-double to left center, ending Friese’s shutout.
The contest would go on to be decided in the 10th inning with the Mavs coming out on top by way of a Tara Trede RBI-single. Despite the loss, Friese allowed five hits, walked four batters and tallied a game-high 10 strikeouts.
Similar to game one, game two was scoreless through three innings until Omaha scored two runs in fourth. In its last gasp, Kansas City managed to cut the lead in half during the seventh inning when pinch hitter Maddie Garton grounded out to short, but not before infielder Marlee Maples scored from third with the bases loaded. Although, outfielder Brooke Parker went down swinging to end UMKC’s rally attempt.
But, the Kangaroos bounced back the following day to come away with a 3-0 win, snapping a four-game a skid behind the arm of Friese, along with the help of her teammates in the field.
With UMKC already leading 1-0 in the third, outfielder Emily Ott took advantage with the bases loaded and drove in two runs with a single, but was thrown out while sliding into second. Meanwhile, Friese and Kansas City’s defense shunned Omaha’s offensive attack by allowing no hits until the sixth inning when Mavs catcher Campbell Ditto singled to left field with two outs.
To close the game, the ‘Roos found themselves in some trouble by allowing back-to-back two-out walks. Yet, Friese ended Omaha’s hopes of a comeback victory by freezing outfielder Allie Mathewson for her ninth strikeout of the afternoon. Along with her nine K’s, Friese finished the day allowing one hit and five walks.
Friese Notches First Summit League Pitcher of the Week Award of 2013, Eighth Overall
After going 1-1 while accumulating 19 strikeouts and allowing nine walks, six hits and two earned runs in 17 innings for a 0.82 ERA against the Omaha Mavericks, senior Deanna Friese picked up her first Summit League Pitcher of the Week award this season. With this honor, it was the eighth time throughout her illustrious career as a Kangaroo she’s garnered the accomplishment.
For the season, Friese holds a 6.75 ERA with 123 strikeouts, one save and two shutouts in 100.0 innings of work while sitting 33rd in the nation for most strikeouts per game (8.61).
After spending its first 25 games on the road, UMKC returned home to Missouri 3&2 Field for the first time this season to face Omaha this past weekend, kicking off a season long eight-game homestand.
Throughout the season, including Summit League matchups with Fort Wayne, Oakland and North Dakota State, 13 games have been cancelled for Kansas City because of weather.
A Season of Highs and Lows
Sitting with a 12-16 overall record, UMKC has seen its share of highs and lows so far through 2013.
To begin the season, the Kangaroos went 3-1 in the Upstate Classic as the squad held a .311 batting average with 33 hits, 16 RBI and 24 runs, while the pitching staff maintained a 2.88 ERA with 26 strikeouts, eight earned runs and six walks.
Despite the solid start, Kansas City dropped its next six games, including all five games in the Troy Cox Classic. During this skid, UMKC was outscored 66-26 in 32 innings.
Then, the Kangaroos caught fire by ripping off four straight wins with victories over Indiana State, Belmont, Nicholls State and Detroit in the Blues City Classic. Throughout this streak, Kansas City batted .396 with 44 hits, 31 runs, 27 RBI, nine walks and 10 stolen bases, whereas the bullpen posted a 2.77 ERA with 23 hits, eight earned runs, eight walks and 22 strikeouts.
Although, UMKC hit another slide by dropping all five games in Texas Tech’s Jeannie McHaney Memorial Classic, as the Kangaroos were outscored 58-21 during this stretch.
But, the Blue & Gold bounced back by winning their next four games with doubleheader sweeps over Wichita State and most recently, Missouri State. Offensively, the Kangaroos are batting .299 and have outscored their opponents during this streak, 20-5, while the pitching staff holds a 1.29 ERA, struck out 39 batters and allowed four earned runs.
Currently, the ‘Roos have dropped four out of their last five, along with being outscored, 16-7.
Amongst the League Leaders
Heading into its doubleheader with Mizzou, UMKC currently have five players in the top 10 in multiple statistical categories across The Summit League.
Offensively, infielder Liz Broyles sits seventh in batting average (.370) and third in triples (2), while Marlee Maples is seventh in RBI (25), Brooke Parker is seventh in stolen bases (9) and Emily Ott sits second in doubles (8).
Pitching wise, Deanna Friese is second in strikeouts (123), second in strikeouts per game (8.61), fifth in wins (8), second in saves (1) and fifth in innings pitched (100.0).
Where They Stand in the RPI
Monday, the NCAA released its third RPI rankings of the season as the Kangaroos held down the 153rd 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 this past weekend, two players moved up in the UMKC record books.
Through 28 Games in 2012...
The Kangaroos were 2-4 in Summit League play and 13-15 overall, coming off a 9-8 win at Utah Valley.
Next Up for the Kangaroos...
Will be a Summit League series against the Western Illinois Leathernecks this weekend, concluding Kansas City’s eight-game homestand.