KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (10-31, 0-9 WAC) will hit the road for a midweek doubleheader with Creighton beginning at 2 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Apr. 17. The second game will serve as a makeup from the previously scheduled matchup that was postponed to due to inclement weather.
UMKC travels to Creighton looking to snap a nine-game losing streak that began after an impressive three consecutive wins prior to opening Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play. The Roos will also have their sights set on a turning around what has been a one-sided series history with Creighton to date. Dating back to 1988, UMKC has won just two of the 49 matchups between the teams. One of the two wins came by way of the majority of this year’s roster in picking up a 6-5 win over the Bluejays in 2017.
The Roos have struggled to get the bats going over the recent stretch of games but perhaps turned a corner in the 10-6 loss to Utah Valley in their last contest. Prior to six-run production, the team had scored just 10 runs in their last eight games, averaging just 3.8 hits per game. UMKC flipped the script in striking for 14 hits in the series finale with UVU, second-most on the season.
Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) continues to provide a consistent threat in the middle of the Roos’ order and will be relied upon to stay sharp down the final stretch. Over the last four games, Goodwin is 5 for 11 and his hit safely in three of the four contests. On the season, the senior infielder is hitting .290 with six doubles and 19 RBI’s.
Sophomore outfielder Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) has also sparked the Roos offensively of late as an on-base threat atop the order. In the weekend series against UVU, Garcia went 4 for 10 with a triple and an RBI along with drawing a pair of walks. The recent success has vaulted Garcia to a .302 average, leading the team and ranking among the top-20 in the WAC.
UMKC will look to get back to their sharp defensive play in the field that saw the team commit just two errors over four games against UMBC and New Mexico State before committing five in three games against UVU. As the Roos’ pitching staff looks to finish strong down the stretch, solid play behind them will be imperative for a staff that has not piled up strikeout totals.
UMKC vs. Creighton
Location: Omaha, Neb. (Creighton Sports Complex)
Series: Creighton leads 47-2
Last Meeting: April 18, 2017 (11-5 Creighton)
TV: Jays Video
Live In-Game Update: @umkcsb
Scouting the Bluejays
Creighton (17-12, 4-2 Big East) begins play in the doubleheader after seeing their weekend home series against DePaul cancelled due to weather. The team has been on a recent winning stretch, claiming victories in four of their past five contests and six of their past eight.
The Bluejays are led offensively by senior outfielder Sam Crowley, who leads the team and ranks third in the Big East with a .383 batting average on the season. Hitting primarily in the second spot in the lineup, Crowley has been on a tear of late, hitting .357 (10 for 28) with two home runs and seven RBI’s over the team’s past eight games. Her five home runs on the season leads the club and her 18 driven in ranks third on the team.
Sophomore outfielder Ashley Cantu will be another Creighton hitter the UMKC pitching staff will need to hone in on. A starter in all 29 games on the season, Cantu is hitting .365 and has an on-base percentage of .436 having with 13 walks drawn for the year. Like Crowley, Cantu has been seen terrific success recently, hitting .444 (8 for 18) with a home run and five RBI’s over the past five contests.
Creighton has primarily relied upon a pair of hurlers – Bryana Clark and Kiele Miller – in the circle in 2018. Clark, a senior right-hander, has made a team-high 21 appearances and has compiled a 5-4 record with a team-best 2.64 era over 74.1 innings. Miller, a freshman righty from Texas, holds a 7-5 record an era of 3.49 over a team-leading 80.1 innings of work. Miller has held opposing hitters to a meager .231 batting average but has struggled with control, walking 34 batters and throwing 14 wild pitches on the season.
UMKC will return to Urban Youth Academy following the doubleheader to host CSU Bakersfield for a three-game WAC series over Apr. 20-21. All three contests will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge and will have Live Stats available.
– UMKC –