KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (11-27, 4-2 WAC) used strong pitching by Lynsey Conner (Peggs, Okla.) to take the first game of the twin bill against Grand Canyon (28-14, 3-3 WAC), 3-1, before falling to the Lopes, 10-1, on Saturday.
Back-to-back singles by Kendra Leach (Easton, Kan.) and Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) in the third inning of game one began the offensive push by UMKC. In the next at-bat, Bri Sims (Rowlett, Texas) was issued her team-leading 17th walk of the season to load the bases with one out. For the second straight game, Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) was hit by a Grand Canyon pitcher to walk in a run. One more walk in the inning to Ashlin O’Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) put the Roos ahead, 2-0, through three.
The top of the fifth inning was highlighted by three singles and a bunt to put Grand Canyon on the board and cut into UMKC’s lead. In the bottom half of the inning, Sims hit a lead-off solo shot over the center field wall to push the Roos back to a two-run cushion.
In seven innings pitched, Conner gave up just six hits, one run and one walk, while striking out two Lopes, to collect her fourth victory of the season.
Grand Canyon attacked in the rubber match, tacking on 10 runs in the first four innings. UMKC responded in the bottom of the fourth, as Sims doubled down the left-field line to start the inning. Alex Gale (Steeleville, Ill.) substituted into the game to pinch run for Sims and stole third on the Lopes’ first pitch to Byrn. Freshman Lia Lombardini (Chesterton, Ind.) hit a two-out single to right field, bringing Gale home to avoid the shutout.
A single by Leach in the bottom of the fifth was not enough, as UMKC dropped the game and the series to Grand Canyon.
UMKC will take a break from the conference slate when it hosts South Dakota State on Tuesday. Doubleheader action between the Roos and the Jackrabbits is set to begin at 1 p.m. CT at Missouri 3&2 Complex.
– UMKC –