(Vermillion, S.D.) – Saturday afternoon, the Kansas City Kangaroos (16-21, 5-5 SL) opened their stretch of five games in three days on the road with a pair losses, 8-7 and 8-1, to league foe South Dakota (27-16, 10-5 SL), as both squads entered the weekend in contention for The Summit League tournament’s final two spots.
Both of these losses also snapped UMKC's four-game winning streak in league play.
In game one, after taking a 1-0 lead in the first, Kansas City led off the second with back-to-back hits by way of catcher Alexandra Friloux doubling to right center and infielder Jenna Rangel singling to left. Two batters later, after Friloux was thrown out at home when outfielder Bri Wyatt reached on a fielder’s choice, Parker recorded her second hit of the game when she RBI-doubled down the left field line to drive in two runs as the Kangaroos now led 4-0.
Then, ensuing batter Marlee Maples singled to third, while Parker scored to make it a 4-0 ball game after she rounded third when South Dakota committed its second error of the game.
In the fifth, same score, Kansas City saw its lead cut in half when South Dakota’s Morgan Hancock recorded a sac-fly RBI and outfielder Katie Cochran driving in a run with a single to center.
In the following inning, South Dakota continued to put the pressure on Kansas City when the league’s home run leader, catcher Allie Daly (11), tied the game with a two-run blast to center off starting pitcher Cinda Ramos (4-11). Next up, after Hancock doubled, infielder Matley Jones drove in Hancock with a double of her own to give South Dakota its first lead of the day, 5-4.
After that, Ramos was replaced by Katie Kelley (1-1) in the circle as she finished the day allowing seven hits, four earned runs, one walk and tallying four strikeouts.
Now down to its last three outs, Kansas City battled back to tie the game when Kelley RBI-singled up the middle to move Ott to second and drive in Maples from third, who reached on an error to lead off the inning. Next up, Friloux singled through the right side as Ott scored to regain the lead for the Kangaroos.
But, the Coyotes managed to load the bases with two outs in the seventh and tied the game after the Kangaroos committed their third error as infielder Lindsey Boyd scored from third to send the game into extra innings.
In the ninth, same score, the Kangaroos loaded the bases with three straight singles, followed by a fourth consecutive single coming from Wyatt as Friloux scored to give the Kangaroos a 7-6 lead. With momentum building, the Coyotes kept Kansas City at bay when Parker lined into double play as Wyatt was tagged out at first. But, South Dakota tied the game once again when Daly RBI-doubled to right center as outfielder Katie Dinning scored from second.
After neither team scored in the 10th, Kelley led off the following inning with a double to left, yet the Kangaroos could not drive her in as the next three batters were retired.
As for the Coyotes, they led off the inning with a single by Hancock, followed by a double from Jones to move Hancock to third. Then, ensuing Christine Broders attempted to bunt, but missed the ball and UMKC had Jones in a rundown during the sequence. Although, the Kangaroos committed their third error of the game as Jones took advantage and scored the game-winning run.
Despite the loss, the Kangaroos tied a season-high in hits with 18, compared to 12 for the Coyotes. Leading the way, Friloux went 4-for-6 with a double and a run scored, while Parker went 3-for-6 with two runs, two RBI, a double and a stolen base. In addition, Rangel went 3-for-5 with a stolen base and a run scored, whereas Maples and Kelley went 2-for-6 with a run scored.
In game two, meanwhile, UMKC once again took 1-0 lead in the first inning, this time by way of Maples (4) homering to left field off South Dakota’s Madison Frain (7-8). Yet, the Coyotes came back strong in the third when infielder Yvon Minogue (5) hit a two-run homer to left center off Ramos, followed by Daly (12) hitting a solo homer to make it a 3-1 ball game.
Kansas City kept it a two-score game until the Coyotes scored five runs on six singles to put the game out of reach in the sixth inning. At game’s end, the Kangaroos managed four hits with Maples, Kelley, Rangel and catcher Caitlin Christopher all contributing.
Tomorrow, the Blue & Gold will look to bounce back against the Coyotes at 12 p.m. The following day, Kansas City will head Ames, Iowa to take on the Iowa State Cyclones in a doubleheader (2 p.m. and 4 p.m.).