UMKC Hosts Creighton to Open Final Home Stand
UMKC Athletics 4-17-2017
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (13-30) will open its final home stand of the 2017 season when it hosts Creighton (15-22) on Tuesday at Missouri 3&2 Complex.

The twin bill between the Roos and the Bluejays is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. CT.


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About the Roos

Redshirt junior Kendra Leach (Easton, Kan.) is batting a team-high .398 with eight doubles and four triples through 43 games. Leach also leads the team in RBIs, bringing home 21 base runners this season.

In the WAC, Leach ranks in the top-four in several categories, including batting average, on-base percentage (.471) and slugging percentage (.585). She also has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

Shortstop Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) has taken 52 total bases in 43 games this season, going 31-for-109 at the plate (.284) while smashing a team-leading six home runs and accumulating a team-high 18 runs. Her six home runs are the fourth-most in the conference this season.

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 bomb 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.), Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) 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 nine stolen base attempts this season. Her nine attempts is the seventh-most in the WAC this season.

As a team, UMKC currently ranks first in the WAC in walks (120), second in steal attempts (47), and third in doubles (40) and triples (8). The pitching staff has combined for 64 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

The last time UMKC conquered Creighton was in Kansas City, Mo., in 2002. This will be the first meeting between the two programs since the 2010 season, when the Roos fell to the Bluejays, 9-4, in the Tulsa Embassy Suites Invitational.  

Creighton enters Tuesday’s nonconference series on a four-game winning streak after sweeping Seton Hall and topping Villanova, 12-3.

Up Next

UMKC will conclude its home stand with a three-game set against Seattle U this weekend. Prior to the start of Saturday’s 12 p.m. CT contest, the team’s four seniors will be recognized for their accomplishments.    

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