KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (10-25, 0-3 WAC) dropped both games in a Saturday doubleheader against New Mexico State (18-14, 3-0 WAC) to wrap up the opening Western Athletic Conference (WAC) series of the season.
In game one, Sara Miller (Marietta, Ga.) made the start in the circle for the Roos and worked a scoreless first inning after walking the first batter of the game. NMSU would tag Miller for a pair of runs in the top of the second on a one out double for an early 2-0 lead.
Miller would run into trouble once more opening up the third inning action, hitting a pair of batters and allowing two home runs without recording an out, extending the Aggies’ lead to 6-0. Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.) came on in relief, getting UMKC out of the third without further damage and finished her outing with two scoreless innings of work without surrendering a hit.
UMKC pushed hard to erase the deficit but were unable to put up any crooked numbers off of NMSU pitchers Analise De La Roca and Samaria Diaz. An RBI double from Ashlin O'Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) in the third and an RBI single from catcher Alyx Bloom (Clay Center, Kan.) in the fourth helped close the gap but the team could not generate any additional offense the rest of the way.
O’Brien led the Roos at the plate in game one, going to 2 for 3 in the contest with a pair of doubles and a run driven. Sister Andra O'Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) looked sharp in her three innings of work to close out the 7-2 loss, allowing just one run (unearned) on three hits and picking up a strikeout.
NMSU got off to a hot start in game two, posting four runs in the opening frame to set the tone in the series finale. Shaky defense on a windy day did UMKC starting pitcher Lynsey Conner (Peggs, Okla.) no favors as the Aggies took advantage with an RBI double followed up with a three-RBI double to close the book on Conner after recording just one out. Fluehr once again came on first in relief to cool off the NMSU bats and was again very effective, allowing two runs on five hits over 4.2 innings in the circle.
The Roos quickly answered with a run of their own in the home half of the first, with Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) leading off the frame with a walk and later coming around to score on an RBI single from Lia Lombardini (Chesterton, Ind.). NMSU starter Kayla Green proved to be too much for the UMKC lineup, giving up just one more hit over her next four innings of work.
The Aggies would scratch across single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to push their advantage out to 6-1. NMSU opted to bring in pitcher Mikayla Bongi to open up the sixth, where UMKC capitalized on Green’s departure from the circle. A leadoff single from Ashlin O’Brien immediately prior to a long double to right center off the bat of Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) forced the Aggies to bring Green back in to close out the game.
Fluehr would drive in one of the runners on a groundout to short for her team-best 28th RBI of the season but the team was unable to strike further. UMKC would add another run in the bottom of the seventh to close out scoring in the contest, finishing with a 7-3 loss to wrap up the series.
Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.), who scored the final run of the game for the Roos, had a great performance at the plate in the second game of the day, finishing 2 for 3 with a double. Andra O’Brien built on her solid outing in game one with another strong performance in the circle, allowing one run on three hits in the final two frames of the contest.
UMKC will hit the field next weekend with a conference road series at Seattle U on Apr. 6-7. The three-game set includes a doubleheader on Friday night beginning at 6 p.m. CT and will conclude with a Saturday afternoon matchup at 4 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –