Late Lead Slips Away in Home Opener
UMKC Athletics 3-23-2018
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (7-19) took a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning of play in the 2018 home opener against South Dakota State (17-9) but a four-run final frame led to a 6-4 loss on Friday night.

UMKC set the tone early, scratching across runs in the first and second innings of play for an early 2-0 lead. Lia Lombardini (Chesterton, Ind.) got the scoring started with a two-out RBI double down the left field line, her 10th run driven in over her past seven games.

Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) accounted for the lone RBI in the second, driving in Alyx Bloom (Clay Center, Kan.) on an infield single for her eight RBI of the season. Byrn and Bloom both led the Roos with two hits apiece in the contest.

South Dakota State struck back for runs in the third and fourth innings to square the game up at 2-2. After two impressive three up, three up down frames, the Jackrabbits finally found the scoreboard against UMKC starter Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.). Fluehr put together a dominant performance despite picking up the loss. She tossed a full seven innings, allowing eight hits and two earned runs in her first complete game of the season.

With the contest tied entering the bottom of the fourth, the Roos jumped back on top with an RBI fielder’s choice from Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) but missed a great opportunity to strike for further damage in stranding three runners to end the inning. The team picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single to right from Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) to extend the lead to 4-2, but would leave two more runners on base headed into the seventh.

Two errors in the final inning of play came back to haunt UMKC as South Dakota State took advantage of the miscues with a four-run frame to jump out in front for the first time at 6-4. The Roos were able to get the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh but could not find the big hit to close the gap.

UMKC will continue the series with South Dakota State tomorrow with a double-header on Saturday afternoon starting at 1 p.m. CT.

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– UMKC –

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