Roos Taking Weekend Trip Down I-70 to Lawrence, Kan., for the Jayhawk Invitational
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (13-5) will continue play in the 2019 season this weekend competing in the Jayhawk Invitational in Lawrence, Kan., on the campus of The University of Kansas. The Roos are scheduled to play five games in the invitational.
Participating Teams in the Event
Maine, Southeast Missouri State, Kansas.
About the Roos
UMKC is on a roll to start the 2019 season after securing another winning weekend at last weekend’s Wildcat Invite in Abilene, Texas, maintaining their grip on their league-best start of 13-5. Starting off the weekend with a statement, the Roos beat Maine 7-0 behind Mia Hoveland’s seven inning shutout of the Black Bears.
Following up Hoveland’s two-hit masterpiece from the circle, UMKC won their second game of the day against the host school Abilene Christian. Junior D.J. Cannon pitched three innings of scoreless relief, while UMKC’s only senior, Meagan Rollow, went 3-4 at the plate and smacked her fourth homerun of the year to put away the Wildcats.
The Roos weren’t as fortunate on Saturday in the final game of the Wildcat Invite, as UMKC lost a late lead to Maine in the team’s second matchup against the Black Bears. A 5-4 loss gave the Roos a 2-1 record on the weekend, and pushed the Blue and Gold’s overall record to 13-5 on the year.
As a team, UMKC has been running wild on the base paths during the 2019 campaign. The Roos currently boast five of the top six base stealers in WAC in non-conference play. Faith Willis is currently tied for first individually with nine stolen bags on the year. At the plate, the team as a whole continues to impress as UMKC now leads the conference in runs scored (110), hits (154), doubles (30), RBI’s (94), stolen bases (43), and batting average (.312).
The Roos pitching staff of Hoveland, Cannon, and freshman Kailyn Packard has also experienced continued success to start the season, now having allowed only 31 earned runs on the year, which continues to place UMKC at the top of the WAC in total earned runs allowed. The next closest team has allowed 40 earned runs.
UMKC will open play in Lawrence against a sudden familiar foe in Maine Friday morning at 10:00 AM CT before taking on Southeast Missouri State at 12:30 PM. On Saturday, March 9th, the Roos will start the second day of the Invitational with another matchup with Southeast Missouri State at 10:00 AM before once again taking on the Maine Black Bears at 12:30 PM. Rounding out the Jayhawk Invitational, the Roos will square off with host school Kansas on Sunday, March 10th, at 1:00 PM CT at Arrocha Ballpark.
Individual NCAA rankings
D.J. Cannon – 19th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.50)
Faith Willis – 36th in steals (9)
Team NCAA rankings
11th in stolen bases per game (2.56)
31tst in team ERA (1.83)
35th in runs per game (6.11)
36th in batting average (3.12)
40th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.78)
47th in win-loss percentage (.722)
Head Coach Meredith Smith Neal
The 2019 campaign is the 13th season at UMKC for head coach Meredith Smith Neal. At the Wildcat Invite this past weekend, Meredith hit the prestigious 250 win mark in her head coaching career, with all victories coming while heading the softball program at UMKC.
The Roos will head to Omaha, Neb., for the Creighton Tournament hosted by Creighton Univiersity, Mar. 15-17. The tournament schedule for UMKC includes three games against Creighton and two games against South Dakota State.
The Roos are proud members of NCAA Division I and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). In 32 years of intercollegiate varsity softball, which began in 1988, UMKC is 467-956.
Looking back at last year
Looking to bounce back from a 15-41 (2-13) record a season ago, UMKC is only returning four starting position players from last year’s squad and must replace the team’s entire pitching staff. Bringing back two of their outfield starters from last season, the Roos expect big returning seasons from junior Sydney Garcia (.322/.385/.425) and senior Maegan Rollow (.251/.292/.357) to help balance the influx of 11 newcomers, including seven freshmen, to this year’s team.