KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (14-31, 4-5 WAC) has adjusted its series schedule against Seattle U (15-26, 4-5 WAC) in an attempt to avoid expected inclement weather in the Kansas City area this weekend.
UMKC’s scheduled doubleheader against the Redhawks on Friday has been moved up to a 12 p.m. CT first pitch, rather than the originally designated 2 p.m. CT start time. Saturday’s Senior Day game will remain scheduled for 12 p.m. CT.
A brief ceremony prior to Saturday’s series finale at Missouri 3&2 Complex will recognize the team’s four seniors – Alex Gale (Steeleville, Ill.), Kendra Leach (Easton, Kan.), Kelsey Volle (Hartsburg, Mo.) and Abby Warkentine (Auburn, Kan.).
Live stats for UMKC’s games are available at UMKCStats.com.
About the Roos
Leach is batting a team-high .395 with nine doubles and four triples through 45 games. She also leads the team in RBIs, bringing home 22 base runners this season. In the Western Athletic Conference, Leach ranks in the top-four in several categories, including batting average, on-base percentage (.472) and slugging percentage (.581). She also has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
Shortstop Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) has taken 65 total bases in 45 games this season, going 35-for-116 at the plate (.302) while smashing a team-leading nine home runs and accumulating a team-high 22 runs. The sophomore launched three home runs in the two-game series against Creighton on Tuesday, ranking her second in the category in the conference.
Leach, Byrn and Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) are all hitting above .300 to lead the team. Goodwin has accumulated 14 runs, seven doubles and a pair of home runs. Utility player Lia Lombardini (Chesterton, Ind.) leads all freshmen at the plate, batting .270 with seven RBIs.
Infielder Bri Sims (Rowlett, Texas) has been given a league-leading 23 free bases this season. She is also second on the team in home runs after hitting her third long ball of the season over the center field wall against Grand Canyon on April 8 at Missouri 3&2 Complex.
Ashlin O’Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.), Goodwin and Leach have each hit a pair of home runs, while Faith Willis (Kearney, Mo.) and Abbi Johnson (Midwest City, Okla.) have each hit one out of the park this season.
Freshman Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) has been caught stealing just once out of her 10 stolen base attempts this season. Her 10 attempts is the seventh-most in the WAC this season.
As a team, UMKC currently ranks first in the WAC in walks (128), second in steal attempts (49), and third in doubles (41) and triples (8). The pitching staff has combined for 67 strikeouts, the fifth-most in the league this season.
When UMKC swept CSU Bakersfield to open WAC play, it was just the fourth time since joining the league that the Roos swept a conference opponent. The Roos also swept the Roadrunners and Seattle U last season and Utah Valley in 2015.
Byrn received WAC Hitter of the Week laurels on Feb. 27 after bombing three home runs in two games at the UTA Invitational. She went 7-for-14 from the plate over the course of five games and accounted for five of the team’s 11 RBIs.
Freshman Alex Larson (Overland Park, Kan.) was named WAC Pitcher of the Week on Feb 20 for her notable performances against Rider at the Battle at the Beach on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19. Between the two games, Larson pitched 8.2 innings, giving up just five hits while throwing three strikeouts. The right-hander also posted a 0.00 ERA in both appearances.
Leach and Sims were each named to the 2017 Preseason All-WAC team in a poll by the league’s coaches.
Sims, a 2016 All-WAC first team selection, returns to the field for UMKC this season with second-team members Goodwin and Byrn. The Roos finished 24-26 overall and 10-5 in the WAC in 2016.
Scouting the Opponent
UMKC holds the all-time series over Seattle U, 9-4, after sweeping the three-game set in Seattle, Wash., last season. The Roos saw their 2016 season come to an end when the Redhawks handed UMKC the 7-3 loss in the second round of the conference tournament.
Seattle U has won one of its last five outings, including a 10-9 victory over Utah Valley on April 15. The Redhawks have won at least one game against each of their WAC opponents this season.
UMKC will travel to Utah Valley next weekend to wrap up WAC regular season play, before closing the nonconference slate at Omaha on May 2.
– UMKC –