LAWRENCE, Kan. – The UMKC softball team (7-16) used a walk-off home run to take a 4-1 win over Murray State before falling to Northern Colorado by a 8-0 final score in Saturday action.
UMKC opened play with their third game of the weekend against Murray State looking to build off of solid efforts in their previous two contests. Sara Miller (Marietta, Ga.) was given the start for the Roos, her fifth of the season, coming off of 3.1 innings of one-run ball a night ago. Miller was once again sharp in the circle, tossing four shutout innings and allowing just a pair of Murray State hits.
Miller’s counterpart Amber Van Duyse was equally effective in keeping the Roos offense from getting started in game one. After retiring the side in order in the first two innings of play, UMKC struck for the opening run of the game in the bottom of the third when senior outfielder Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) put the team on the board with an RBI triple.
Lynsey Conner (Peggs, Okla.) took over pitching duties in the fifth inning and continued the trend of stifling opposing hitters. A walk and an error in her first frame gave Murray State an opportunity to even up the score but back to back groundouts induced by Conner escaped the jam.
With UMKC still struggling to tack on insurance runs, Murray State scratched across a run in the top of the sixth with a two-out RBI single to even the contest at 1-1. Conner would strand two more runners on a key pop out to end in the inning without further damage.
After three up, three down frames in the bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, the Roos were left with three outs to scratch across a run and avoid extra innings for a second time in three games. Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.) and Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) both reached base with one out, bringing the red hot Lia Lombardini (Chesterton, Ind.) to the plate.
Lombardini, who entered the game with five RBI’s and a game-winning home run over the first two games of the weekend, once more came through a clutch as she walked the team off with a three-run shot to right to give the Roos a 4-1 victory. Conner, who finished the contest with one run allowed on two hits in three innings of work, picked up her team-best fifth win of the season and improved her record to 5-6.
Game two against Northern Colorado proved to be another low-scoring affair early on with pitching stealing the show. Olivia Fluehr made the start in the circle for the Roos, allowing five runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings of work.
One of the few blemishes of Fluehr’s start came in the second inning of play as a Rachel Johnson two-run home run opened the scoring in the contest. UMKC struggled at the plate throughout the game, collecting just five hits against Northern Colorado starter Valerie Vidal in seven innings of action.
Fluehr would allow another run in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly to extend their lead to 3-0. Northern Colorado would strike once more in the top of sixth with a big five-run inning to wrap up the scoring at 8-0. Maegan Rollow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) led the way offensively in picking up a pair of hits in the contest.
UMKC will finish play in the Rock Chalk Challenge tomorrow afternoon with a matchup against host Kansas at 2 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –