Courtesy: UMKC Athletics/MSH Photography
‘Roos Get Set to Host the Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament to Open Home Schedule
Courtesy:UMKC Athletics
Release:03/01/2012
(Kansas, City, Mo.) - The UMKC softball team (6-4) will kick-off its home schedule this weekend in the Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament against Saint Louis (10-6), Missouri State (6-2), Southeast Missouri (4-7), and Mizzou (6-3) at the Missouri 3&2 Field.

Friday's games will begin with the 'Roos hosting Saint Louis (4 p.m.), followed by Missouri State (6-2) facing Saint Louis (6 p.m.). 

On Saturday, Mizzou and Saint Louis (11 a.m.) will kick-off day two's festivities followed by Southeast Missouri and Saint Louis (1 p.m.) and Southeast Missouri and Mizzou (3 p.m.), as UMKC will take on Missouri State (5 p.m.).

To cap off the tournament, Sunday's games will begin with the Blue & Gold hosting Southeast Missouri (11 a.m.), followed by Missouri State and Southeast Missouri (1 p.m.) and UMKC facing Mizzou (3 p.m.).  In the night cap, Missouri State will take on Mizzou (5 p.m.).

» Promotions for the 2012 Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament (Missouri 3&2 Field)
*Free admission
*Donations for The Susan G. Komen and Cynthia Gable Foundations.
*Pink bracelets for the first 200 fans that donate.
*Donation competition between schools.
*Raffle winners will receive prizes and a signed pink All Stars batting helmet.

THE OPPONENTS

» UMKC vs. Saint Louis Billikens (10-6) » Friday, March 2, 2012 » 4:00 p.m.

Coming in, the Billikens went 3-2 in the Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament hosted by Kennesaw State this past weekend.

For the season, outfielder Jessica Buschjost leads her team in batting (.339), runs scored (11), hits (19), and stolen bases (11).  As for Alyson Brand, she leads Saint Louis in RBI (10), despite hitting .160 in nine games this season.

On the mound, Kelcei Matesa (3-2), Julian Austin (2-3), and Hannah Huebbe (5-1) have all made nine appearances this season for a combined 2.61 ERA.  Leading her team in strikeouts (44), Matesa also holds a team-best 1.67 ERA this season.

At the helm, head coach Christy Connoyer is in her second season as the 10th coach in team history.  In 2011, the Billikens finished 29-24 overall and 10-8 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, including a school-best NCAA Division I Ratings Percentage Index final ranking of 129.

» The Series: UMKC is 22-19 all-time against the Billikens.  Last time out, the 'Roos came away victorious in a 7-6 contest last season in the final game of the Saint Louis Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament on March 6.

» UMKC vs. Missouri State Bears (6-2) » Saturday, March 3, 2012 » 5:00 p.m.

Fresh off a 2011 NCAA Tournament appearance, the Bears have won five out of their last six games coming into this weekend with two victories over Summit League foes, South Dakota State (Feb. 19) and Western Ill. (Feb. 26).    

At the plate, Ashley Brentz leads the Bears in batting (.435), hits (10), RBI (5), and on-base percentage (.536). 

On the mound, Natalie Rose (3-0) has appeared in six games, while posting a team-leading 0.69 ERA and 35 strikeouts.  In three starts, the Henryetta, Okla. native completed each contest, including a shutout and eight-strikeout performance against Western Ill.  On Feb. 20, Rose was named the Missouri Valley Pitcher of the Week. 

In 24 seasons, head coach Holly Hesse is the winningest coach in Missouri State history with a 605-585-2 record.  Under her leadership, she has led the Bears to two regular-season conference titles, five conference tournament crowns, and five NCAA Tournament appearances.

» The Series: The 'Roos are 6-30 all-time against Missouri State. Last season, the two squads met twice on April 12 in Springfield, Mo. as the Bears won both meetings.  In game one, Missouri State defeated UMKC 9-1 in five innings and 5-4 in game two. 

» UMKC vs. Southeast Missouri Redhawks (4-7) » Sunday, March 4, 2012 » 11:00 a.m.

After starting the season 4-2, the Redhawks have dropped five straight heading into the Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament.

Offensively, Evan Sallis leads SEMO in batting (.310) and on-base percentage (.412), while tied for the team lead in runs (9) and hits (9) with Renee Kertz.  Also for Kertz, she leads the Redhawks in RBI with 11.

In the bullpen, five SEMO pitchers have seen action this season with Shea Cothren (1-3) and Alora Marble (2-3) making four starts each.  Cothren in six appearances, holds a team-best 4.91 ERA and is tied with Taylor Cowan (0-1) for the team-lead in strikeouts (11). 

As for head coach Lana Richmond, she is in her 30th season and has the longest consecutive tenure of any Redhawk and current Ohio Valley Conference coach.  She also ranks 14th all-time in victories among NCAA Division I head coaches.

» The Series: UMKC is 2-4 all-time against the Redhawks.  In their lone matchup last season on March 5 in the Saint Louis Breast Cancer Tournament, the game was cancelled due to inclement weather.

In 2010, the two squads met twice as both teams came away with a win.  On Feb. 13, the Redhawks defeated UMKC 6-4 in the opening game of the ULM Mardi Gras Classic. Later in the year, the 'Roos returned the favor with a 7-1 win on March 5 in the Missouri Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament.  

» UMKC vs. No. 13 Missouri Tigers (6-3) » Sunday, March 4, 2012 » 3:00 p.m.

After falling 1-0 to Baylor in the last year's College World Series, the Mizzou Tigers entered 2012 as the defending Big 12 regular season champions and the No. 6 ranked team in the preseason USA Today/NFCA poll.  To start the season, the Tigers won three out of four at the Quality Inn Classic with their lone loss coming against Troy in a 4-0 defeat. 

Last week in the Cathedral City Classic, Mizzou went 3-2 with victories over UC Davis, Washington, and No. 16 UCLA.  As for its losses, UM fell to Big 10 members Nebraska and Northwestern. 

At the plate, Jenna Martson leads UM in hitting (.429), hits (12) and triples (1).  As for Ashley Fleming and Nicole Hudson, they're tied for a team-high seven RBI, while Fleming is first in homeruns (3). 

On the mound, the Tigers pitching staff holds a combined 2.15 ERA between three athletes.  Leading the way is Chelsea Thomas (3-1) who has 25 strikeouts to go along with an ERA of 1.54 and two shutouts.

In his fifth season, the two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year, Ehren Earleywine, currently holds a 247-79 record with a .757 winning percentage at Mizzou.     

» The Series: The 'Roos are 1-48 all-time against Mizzou.  In the last meeting, the Tigers defeated UMKC 3-0 in the Saint Louis Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament on March 6 last season.

LAST TIME OUT

The 'Roos went 4-0 in the Evansville Tournament in Evansville, Ind. 

In the first of a doubleheader on Feb. 25, the 'Roos defeated Butler 2-0 behind two Kelly Fischer RBI and a shutout by Cinda Ramos.  In the second game, UMKC beat tournament-host Evansville, 4-3, as junior pitcher Deanna Friese (1-3) picked up her first win of the season, tossing all seven innings, while allowing just four hits and striking out eight.  At the plate, freshman Bri Wyatt went 2-for-2 at the plate with a sacrifice, while senior Megan Ussary went 1-for-3 with two RBI.

On day two, UMKC had its best offensive output of the season as it recorded a season-high in hits (11) and runs (8) in an 8-5 win over Detroit.  Leading the way was junior Emily Ott who went 3-of-4 with four RBI, while Chelsea Hartwig and Kaelene Curry went 2-for-3 with four hits and two runs scored as Hartwig also drove in two runs.

To seal the undefeated weekend, the 'Roos triumphed 1-0 in eight innings over Butler. In the top of the eighth, the 'Roos defense held Butler scoreless as they retired the side in order.  Leading off for UMKC with Danielle Bennefeld at second, Megan Vicino hit a grounder to the shortstop, but Butler's Kristen Boros made a bad throw to first.  As a result, Bennefeld rounded third and won the play at the plate to win the game.

TWO 'ROOS EARN WEEKLY HONORS

On Feb. 27, freshman right-hander Cinda Ramos (5-1) earned her first career Summit League Pitcher of the Week award as she went 3-0 while recording seven strikeouts, while yielding seven hits, one earned run and two walks in 11 innings for an ERA of 0.64.

She opened the Evansville Tournament with a 2-0 victory over Butler giving up five hits and no earned runs in four innings of work.  In her second start of the weekend, she allowed two hits and one earned run, while striking out four batters in 5.1 innings in an 8-5 win against Detroit. 

To close out the week, the Olathe, Kan. native came in as a reliever to hold Butler hitless and scoreless in 1.2 innings of work to earn her third win of the week. 

For the Kangaroos (6-4), this marked the second week in a row where a pitcher has won this award.  On Feb. 20, junior Deanna Friese (1-3) earned her sixth career Summit League Pitcher of the Week honor after throwing a one-hitter against undefeated Hawaii in the 'Roos lone game of the week on Feb. 13

On Feb. 28, junior Emily Ott was named the College Sports Madness Player of the Week for the first time in her career. 

In four games in the Evansville Tournament, the Des Plaines, Ill. native batted .385 with five hits and four RBI.  Ott's best performance came in an 8-5 UMKC (6-4) victory over Detroit as she went 3-for-4 with four RBI. 

She currently leads her team in RBI (7) and is third in batting (.370).

CURRY PICKING UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF

In 54 games last season, infielder Kaelene Curry finished as the team's leader in batting (.378), runs scored (46), hits (65), and on-base percentage (.454).

Through 10 games in 2012, the reigning Summit League Player of the Year is second on the team in batting (.393) and slugging percentage (.429), while first in hits (11).

AT THIS POINT IN 2011

Last season, the 'Roos were 7-3 going into the second game of the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational in Orlando, Fla. against Central Florida on Feb. 25.

Through 10 games this season, UMKC is 6-4 heading into the first game of the Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament against Saint Louis.

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