UMKC Softball starts the season right

U-News Staff

UMKC softball looks to improve from last year’s season, in which they finished with a 20-36 record.

The Roos were able to make their fourth consecutive postseason appearance after posting a 7-8 record in the WAC, qualifying them for the WAC conference tournament.

This year head coach Meredith Smith Neal has high hopes for this season as she enters her ninth season with the team.

“The overall goal is to make regionals for the first time,” Neal said. “A WAC championship would be wonderful, but we want to learn how to play game by game and not necessarily look at the end result.”

UMKCs’ softball team has gotten off to a hot start winning eight of its first 13 games. Junior Katie Kelley has picked up where she left off last year, when she led the team with a UMKC record setting 11 homeruns, as well as picking up 27 RBIs.

Kelley is on pace to shatter the 11 homerun mark. Through the first 13 games, she has recorded five homeruns and 13 RBIs with 39 games left in the season. She also leads the team in hits with 20, a batting average of .426 and a slugging percentage of .915.

The Roos rely on senior pitcher Cinda Ramos to bring the heat. Ramos has four wins and zero loses, leads the team in strikeouts with 28 and has the lowest era on the team at 2.01.

This season, the Roos have 20 returning players and eight newcomers, making them the largest team Neal has ever coached.

“This year we’re playing 14 to 15 players in a game,” Neal said. “Right now were having trouble naming a player of the week because we have seven players doing well. Out the 14 to 15 players we have another three come up and a situation depending on the type of pitcher.”

“The benefit to this team is the depth and which we play and our seniors are going to make good plays because of their experience and our freshmen are really talented so they’re just adding to the pot,” Neal said.

The Roos hope to maintain momentum as they travel to Stillwater, Okla. to play in the Mizuno Classic March 6 – 8.