Player Profile: Ott breaks UMKC softball RBI record

Dan Moreno

This marks senior Emily Ott’s last softball season as a Kangaroo.

Ott celebrated her birthday on Feb. 16 by becoming UMKC’s all-time leader in runs batted in when she hit a solo home run against Texas Tech.

“I ended up earning a school career high when I hit that home run,” she said. “Now I’m at 108 and want more. It was a great birthday present.”

Ott’s hitting career started when she was six years old.

“I was subbing for my sister’s tee ball team,” she said. “I started playing softball when I was eight and took it from there.”

In her high school years in Des Plaines, Ill., Ott was Maine West High softball’s Most Valuable Player all four years and an All-state selection her senior year.

Coach Meredith Smith brought her to UMKC in 2010.

“I was at a tournament in Chicago when coach emailed me and I asked her to come see me play,” Ott said. “After she saw me play, I came to Kansas City and liked the school a lot.”

Ott is well-known for her softball skills, but also for wearing number “00” on her jersey.

“I am the first athlete to bring “00” to UMKC,” Ott said. “I chose it because it is easy to remember but also because my last name starts with an O. I just loved the idea.”

Coach Smith’s team was originally scheduled to open up the Summit League on March 22, but was unable to do so due to inclement weather.

After spending its first 25 games on the road, Ott said the team was looking forward to starting conference play.

The Roos, 12-16, began their league schedule by losing two of three games to Omaha at home this past weekend. Two RBI in Sunday’s 3-0 victory increased Ott’s career total to 110.

“It has been a tough season. We have played against great teams and we are ready to come back and start strong in the league,” she said. “I am anxious and excited about this season. I have been practicing hard and hitting the gym a lot.”

UMKC added No. 7 Mizzou and Iowa State to the schedule in attempt to make up some of the cancelled games.

“I have played against them [MU] the last three years and we have always put a good game against them,” Ott said. “I’m ready to beat them, and have it be my senior year when it happens.”

Ott said UMKC’s softball team is a great experience.

“We are all very goofy,” she said. “We are a great team, thanks to the team’s chemistry.”

After graduation, Ott has already decided to continue in sports.

“I want to go back to Chicago and get an internship with a sporting team,” she said. “Probably the Bulls or the Cubs. I want to do something for them.”

Ott and the Lady Roos will host Mizzou this Wednesday in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

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