RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Both Pacific (15-16) and UC Riverside (16-9) jumped to early leads that the UMKC softball team (7-21) was unable to overcome on the opening day of the UC Riverside Classic on Friday.
In UMKC’s 9-1 loss to Pacific, the Tigers jumped on the board in a hurry after a batter was hit by a pitch with bases loaded. Infielder Bri Sims (Rowlett, Texas) was dealt a lead-off walk to start the second inning and Kendra Leach (Easton, Kan.) singled to center field, but both Roos were left stranded. Pacific extended its lead in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs on one hit and two errors.
A scoreless third by both sides led to another run by Pacific in the fourth to take the 4-0 lead over UMKC going into the fifth inning.
Shortstop Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) hit a lead-off single up the middle for the Roos. Leach tallied her second hit of the day on a bunt to the pitcher and Byrn advanced to third on the throw to first base.
In the following at-bat, catcher Abbi Johnson (Midwest City, Okla.) reached first on a fielder’s choice by the shortstop to get Leach out at second base, allowing Byrn to put UMKC on the board.
A grand slam by the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth quickly gave Pacific the 8-1 cushion. A two-out double to left-center field brought a Tiger home to end the game in six innings.
In the second game of the day, UC Riverside tacked on five runs in the first inning, and four more in the second, making it difficult for the Roos to catch up.
Leach hit her second long ball of the season, a two-run shot, to right field in the third to bring the Roos within seven. In the bottom half of the inning, the Highlanders added three more runs to make it a 12-2 game.
Both teams held each other scoreless in the fourth inning, and UMKC went down in order, to end the game in five.
The Roos will get a second chance at Pacific on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT before finishing up the UC Riverside Classic against the Highlanders at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday.
– UMKC –