UMKC Splits on Opening Day of Madeira Beach Invitational
UMKC Athletics 2-16-2018
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MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – The UMKC softball team (3-4) opened play in the Madeira Beach Invitational with a 12-0 win over Eastern Michigan (0-2) before falling to Abilene Christian (2-3) by a 7-6 final score.  

UMKC got off to a hot start in the event with a 12-0 drumming of Eastern Michigan in five innings. In the top of the first, the Roos drew a pair of walks to open the game. Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) stole third base following the free passes, her second steal of the season, and would score on a throwing error on the steal attempt.

Lia Lombardini (Chesterton, Ind.) drew a bases loaded walk to score Tiler Noyola (Montgomery, Texas) for the second run of the opening frame. The Roos were unable to tack on further damage with three runners aboard and one out in the inning.

Back to back five run innings for UMKC all but wrapped up the game by the third. A sac fly from Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.), her sixth RBI of the season, was followed up by an Ashlin O’Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) RBI single to get the scoring started in the second inning.

Consecutive bases loaded walks drawn by Lombardini, her second of the game, and Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.) gave the Roos further separation before a wild pitch brought in another run to wrap up the scoring in the second. On the game, the team drew a school-record 14 walks in the game in a fantastic display of plate discipline.

UMKC continued to feast on the mistakes of Eastern Michigan as Garcia, who led off the third inning with a single and stolen base, would trot home on another wild pitch. Maegan Rollow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) added an RBI double, part of her 2-2 game, in the inning before Fluehr dropped the hammer with a three-run home run concluded her stellar four RBI day at the plate.

The offensive explosion by the Roos made life easy for starting pitcher Lynsey Conner (Peggs, Okla.), who put followed up her complete game performance in her last appearance with another impressive outing. Conner, who improved her record to 2-0 on the season, was rarely in trouble, working five scoreless innings and did not allow a hit until the final frame.

UMKC was back in action Friday afternoon nearly claiming their fourth consecutive victory in a back and forth 7-6 loss to Abilene Christian (2-3). Andra O’Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) was given the start in the circle and stranded a runner at second base for a scoreless opening frame. O’Brien tossed three innings in the contest, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out a pair.

The offense wasted no time in hitting the scoreboard, again tacking on a run in the first inning for the third game in a row. With runners on the corners and one out, Goodwin delivered a sac fly to give the Roos an early 1-0 lead.

An RBI single and walk surrendered by O’Brien in the second inning was immediately answered with a two-run frame of their own. Fluehr singled to left field for her fifth RBI of the game before a wild pitch scored Lombardini to reclaim the lead.

ACU would strike for two more runs in the top half of the fourth but UMKC would once more respond in quick fashion. Lombardini crossed home on an error, after leading off the inning with a triple, and the team took advantage of another ACU mistake when Kamrie Harrison (Moore, Okla.) scored on a passed-ball strikeout. Goodwin’s team-leading eighth RBI of the season on a two-out single gave the Roos their first multi-run advantage in the contest.

Sara Miller (Marietta, Ga.) ran into significant trouble in the fifth inning after navigating through the fourth unscathed. After loading the bases, Miller was touched for three runs on two hit batters and a fielding error before being relieved by Fluehr.

Fluehr did a terrific job keeping ACU off the board to close out the game, serving up 2.2 scoreless innings of work while allowing just a pair of hits. UMKC was unable to get back on top in their last three at-bats, stranding two runners in the fifth and one in the sixth to close out the game.

The Roos will continue play in the Madeira Beach Invitational with a pair of games on Saturday. UMKC will take on UNC Greensboro at 10 a.m. CT before turning around to play Georgia Southern at 12:30 p.m. CT.

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