BALTIMORE, Md. – The UMKC softball team (10-22) finished their midweek road trip in strong fashion on Wednesday, claiming a 6-4 victory over Mount St. Mary’s before taking down host UMBC in five innings by a 12-3 final score.
Lynsey Conner (Peggs, Okla.) made her second start in as many days in game one against Mount St. Mary’s (8-14) and put together another impressive performance in the circle. She finished her outing allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and picked up three strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work. The win improved Conner’s record to 5-9 on the season.
After three innings of scoreless ball, UMKC cracked the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth on an RBI infield hit from catcher Alyx Bloom (Clay Center, Kan.). Mount St. Mary’s would quickly answer in the home half of the frame, capitalizing on a UMKC error to tie the game at 1-1.
A solo home run from Kate Wade in the bottom of the fifth put the Roos down a single run but momentum would flip back in the Roos’ favor with one huge swing of the bat. With two outs and the bases loaded, Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) ambushed an offering from Marian Ruf, sending it over the right field fence to put the team back out front. Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.) would make it back to back home runs on a solo shot, her team-best seventh of the season, to right field immediately following the grand slam.
Conner would allow a second bases empty home run in the bottom of the sixth but would escape the inning keeping UMKC out front 6-3. Following a scoreless top of the seventh, Conner started the final frame in the circle three outs away from victory. A pinch-hit home run to lead off the inning appeared to give Mount St. Mary’s momentum but Conner and Olivia Fluehr would retire three of the next four hitters to close out the 6-4 win.
Fluehr was given the starting nod in the circle for game two against UMBC (5-19) and matched Conner’s performance with a solid outing of her own. Fluehr pitched her second complete game of the season, allowing three runs on six hits in improving her record to 4-6 on the year.
With the game scoreless after one inning of play, UMKC used a pair of hits and two UMBC errors to light up the scoreboard with five runs in the top of the second. A bases loaded RBI single from Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) got the scoring started and was followed up with an RBI groundout off the bat of Ashlin O'Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.). A throwing error on UMBC third baseman Carly Lesko brought in two more runs before Morgan Byrn crossed home on a wild pitch to cap off the frame.
A two-run home run for UMBC in the third and a single run in fourth trimmed the lead to 5-3. The contest appeared to be headed toward a tight finish before a massive seven-run fifth inning for UMKC clinched the team’s third consecutive win.
The scoring in the fifth inning began with an RBI from Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.), her 19th of the season. With two outs and two runners aboard, Garcia came through with her second RBI of the game on a single up the middle to extend the lead to 8-3. Goodwin and Garcia both had overly productive days at the plate, each collecting three hits in the contest to lead the team.
With the bases loaded and still two down in the frame, Byrn put the finishing touches on her monster Wednesday performance by blasting her second grand slam of the day, the second and third of her career. The two massive swings gave her five home runs and improved her RBI total 21 on the season.
UMKC will return home this weekend to host New Mexico State (15-14) for a three-game set to open Western Athletic Conference play. The series opener is set for Friday, Mar. 30 at 6 p.m. CT and will be played at Urban Youth Academy, the new home of Roos softball.
– UMKC –