SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (7-18) erased an early 3-0 deficit on the road at Missouri State (17-10) before falling victim to a five-run fifth inning that put the wraps up on an 11-5 loss on Tuesday night.
UMKC struggled at the plate against Missouri State starter Holly Kelley who entered the contest with a 6-2 record and a stingy 1.94 era on the season. Kelley retired the first six batters of the game, picking up four strikeouts over the first two frame.
The Bears jumped out in front early with a three-run bottom of the first off of UMKC starter Lynsey Conner (Peggs, Okla.) in her eleventh start of the season. Conner was able to escape the first without further damage after getting a flyout with the bases loaded. She would leave three more runners stranded in a scoreless second inning of work to keep the MSU lead at 3-0.
UMKC responded with a big three-run third inning to erase the early deficit. After two of the first three hitters reached base safely, Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) smashed a double to left to drive in a pair of runs, advancing to third on an error. Maegan Rollow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) capitalized on the mistake with a sac fly to tie the game at 3-3.
MSU would jump back out in front in the home half of the third with another three-run frame. Once more, Conner would strand the bases loaded to keep the Roos within striking distance. In the top of the fourth, UMKC battled back with back to back home runs from Lia Lombardini (Chesterton, Ind.) and Alyx Bloom (Clay Center, Kan.) to cut the MSU lead to a single run. The long ball was Lombardini’s third in the past six games while Bloom’s solo shot was her first home run of the season.
Following the home runs, MSU brought in Erin Griesbauer to cool off the Roos’ bats. Griesbauer tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless ball, allowing just one hit in the effective outing. Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.) took over in the circle in the fourth inning and after scoreless frame to open her relief appearance, the Bears struck for five runs in the fifth to put the game away.
The Roos will head back to Kansas City to host their 2018 home opening series with South Dakota State on Mar. 23-25. The four-game set will be the first games played by the team at Urban Youth Academy, the new home facility of UMKC softball.
– UMKC –