Freshman Emma Dargy and the Omaha softball team heads to the Rock Chalk Challenge this weekend.
Courtesy: Dirk Steffen

Omaha Wraps Up Tournament Play at Rock Chalk Challenge

Omaha Athletics | March 15, 2017
Leading Off
The Omaha softball team wraps up tournament play this weekend, heading south to the Rock Chalk Challenge, March 17-19, in Lawrence, Kan.  The Mavericks open play, Friday, March 17 against No. 12/13 LSU at 9 a.m.  UNO then plays Southeast Missouri State and UMKC on Saturday, March 18, before wrapping up the tournament vs. Tulsa and Kansas on Sunday, March 19.  OMavs.com will have links to live stats.
 
Quick Hits
• Omaha is 8-14 (0-0 Summit League) overall after a 1-3 weekend at the OU Tournament in Norman, Okla.
• UNO will play its third nationally rated team this season when it takes on LSU.  The Mavericks defeated No. 16 Utah, but lost a doubleheader to No. 9/10 Oklahoma.
• Last weekend, Omaha went 4-for-5 in stolen base attempts and hit a pair of home runs.
• Senior Lizzie Noble led the Mavericks at the plate last at the OU Tournament, batting .333 with a double and a home run with a pair of RBI.
• Senior Lia Mancuso swiped two bases last weekend, while freshman Hailey Bartz and senior Nicole Warren each stole one base.
• Junior Megan May hit her first home run of the season, while junior Kylie Schwarting added her first RBI.
• Senior Abbie Clanton earned her third win of the year against UIC, while sophomore Laura Roecker picked up her second save.
• Junior Kelly Pattison, Mancuso and Noble lead UNO this season with five multiple hit games, while Kinney and Pattison lead the team with four multiple RBI games.
DJ Sanchez is in her first year leading the Omaha softball program.
• The Mavericks open the year with 27 straight road games.
• UNO returns eight letter winners, including four position starters: Mancuso, Noble, Pattison and Warren.  Clanton and Roecker return to the circle this season for the Mavericks.
• Three All-Summit selections highlight the Mavericks’ returning corps: Mancuso, Roecker and Warren.
• Omaha was picked second in the Summit League preseason Coaches’ Poll.
 
Briefly: Rock Chalk Challenge
Omaha will play five games at the Rock Chalk Challenge in Lawrence, Kan. this weekend.  Here is a quick look at UNO’s opponents:
  • Kansas – 15-9 overall (0-0 Big 12), winners of three straight and outscored the opposition 32-4 over that stretch.
  • LSU – 19-6 overall (1-2 SEC), fell to No. 12/13 in the latest rankings after dropping two of three games at then No. 2 Auburn last weekend.
  • Southeast Missouri State – 14-5 overall (0-0 OVC), 7-3 over its last 10 games with a 6-1 win at Georgia Tech on Tuesday.
  • Tulsa – 14-10 (0-0 AAC), 3-2 over its last five games including a 4-0 win over then No. 23 Cal at the Tulsa Invitational last weekend.
  • UMKC – 6-16 (0-0 WAC), snapped a 10-game losing streak with wins over Drake and Green Bay at the Jayhawk Invitational.

Scouting the LSU Tigers
LSU enters the weekend with a 19-6 (1-2 SEC) record after dropping two of three games to No. 2 Auburn to open the SEC schedule.  The Tigers play a non-conference game on Thursday, March 16 vs. Wichita State.

At the plate, Bailey Landry paces LSU with a .524 average with four doubles, five triples and 19 RBI.  Allie Walljasper has a team-best 7-1 record with a 1.49 ERA and 30 strikeouts. 

Head coach Beth Torina is in her sixth season at LSU with a 243-103 record in six seasons and has a 372-214 career mark over 10 years.  Friday will be the first all-time meeting between Omaha and LSU.
 
Scouting the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks
Southeast Missouri State enters the weekend with a 14-5 (0-0 OVC) record after picking up a road win against Georgia Tech on Tuesday.  The Redhawks went 3-1 at the SEMO Tournament last weekend defeating Alabama State (8-1), Alabama A&M (7-2) and Loyola-Chicago (2-0).  SEMO will play at Kennesaw State on Wednesday, March 15.

Rachel Anderson leads the team with a .509 average with three home runs, three doubles, six triples, eight stolen bases and 15 RBI.  Six different pitchers have been used by SEMO this season with Alexis Estes owning a team-best 5-0 record with two saves and a 2.60 ERA. 

Head coach Mark Redburn is 49-65 in his third season at Southeast Missouri State and has a 139-240 career mark in eight years.  Saturday marks the second all-time meeting between Omaha and Southeast Missouri State with the Redhawks holding a 1-0 series advantage.
 
Scouting the UMKC Kangaroos
UMKC enters the weekend at 6-16 (0-0 WAC) overall after a 12-7 win over Green Bay last Sunday.  The Kangaroos went 2-0 at the Jayhawk Invitational last weekend defeating Drake (3-2) and Green Bay.

Kendra Leach is the top hitter for UMKC with a .421 average with three triples and six doubles.  The Kangaroos have used five different pitchers in the circle this season, led by Lia Lombardini’s 5.05 ERA and a 2-3 record.

Head coach Meredith Smith Neal is 214-316 in her 11 seasons at the helm of the UMKC program.  Saturday’s meeting is the 11th all-time between Omaha and UMKC with the Mavericks owning a 6-4 series advantage.
 
Scouting the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes
Tulsa enters the weekend with a 14-10 (0-0 AAC) record after a 5-3 loss to Wichita State last Sunday.  The Golden Hurricanes went 3-1 at the Tulsa Invitational with wins over Montana (3-1), No. 23 Cal (4-0) and Texas Tech (7-0), before falling to Wichita State.  Tulsa plays a midweek game against Arkansas on Wednesday, March 15.

Emily Watson is the top pitcher for Tulsa, sporting a 10-3 record and a 1.45 ERA with 115 strikeouts this season.  Julia Hollingsworth leads the team with a .377 average, 13 RBI and nine stolen bases.

Head coach John Bargfeldt is in his 437-218-1 over his 12-year career at Tulsa.  Sunday’s meeting will be the first all-time between Omaha and Tulsa.
 
Scouting the Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas enters the weekend with a 15-9 (0-0 Big 12) record after a 6-2 win over Iowa last Sunday.  The Jayhawks went 3-0 at the Jayhawk Invitational last weekend with a win over Iowa and two victories over Green Bay (12-0 and 14-2).

Alexis Reid leads the Jayhawks in the circle with an 8-4 record, a 1.41 ERA and 47 strikeouts.  Jessie Roane has a .372 batting average, five home runs and 25 RBI to lead regular starters.

Head coach Megan Smith is 237-160 in eight years at Kansas and is 278-180 in nine seasons.  Sunday marks the 17th all-time meeting between Omaha and Kansas with the Jayhawks leading the all-time series, 16-0.
 
A Look Back at Last Weekend
Omaha went 1-3 at the OU Tournament last weekend in Norman, Okla.  The Mavericks lost a Friday doubleheader to defending national champion Oklahoma 9-1 and 8-0.  UNO dropped a 4-3 decision to Illinois-Chicago on Saturday, before rebounding for a 5-4 win over UIC on Sunday.   
 
Next Up
After 27 straight games on the road, Omaha will host New Mexico State for its home opener on Tuesday, March 21.  The first pitch at Westside Field at Westbrook will take place at 1 p.m.  The link to live stats is available on OMavs.com.

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