BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – For just the fourth time since joining the Western Athletic Conference, the UMKC softball team (10-25, 3-0 WAC) swept its conference opponent after taking the twin bill at CSU Bakersfield (5-23, 0-3 WAC) on Saturday.
“It is a great way to start the conference season,” commented head coach Meredith Smith Neal. “We were able to make some corrections after our week of play here in California. We hope to improve our confidence and carry this into our games against Grand Canyon at home next weekend.”
The Roos trailed by two runs through the first four innings after the Roadrunners advanced a lead-off walk around the bases in the first and hit a sac fly to center field in the fourth.
Freshman Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) hit a two-out triple to left field in the fifth, before Kendra Leach (Easton, Kan.) followed it with a single to right field in the following at-bat to send Garcia home and put UMKC on the board.
In the final two innings, the Roos would score nine runs on six hits. A single to right field by Faith Willis (Kearney, Mo.) loaded the bases for UMKC in the sixth inning with one out. The Roos walked in a run after Abbi Johnson (Midwest City, Okla.) was dealt her third free base of the season. In the next at-bat, Garcia was hit by a pitch to send Ashlin O’Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) home, knotting the game at two-all. A triple by Leach cleared her teammates off of the bases to give UMKC the 6-2 lead after six.
CSU Bakersfield responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but a four-run surge by the Roos in the seventh would give UMKC the 10-5 victory and the series.
It was a battle between pitchers in the second game, as UMKC gave up just four hits and CSU Bakersfield only allowed two. The Roos scored twice in the second after leading off the inning with back-to-back walks to put two on base. Two Roadrunner errors advanced the runners to give UMKC the 2-0 lead. CSU Bakersfield scored one run on two hits in the bottom of the second, but a solo shot to left field by Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) in the sixth sealed the game and the series sweep for the Roos.
Over the course of the weekend, Bri Sims (Rowlett, Texas) was given six of UMKC’s 12 free bases, including three of the Roos’ four in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
UMKC will return home for five games beginning next weekend with a three-game series against Grand Canyon.
– UMKC –