KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC softball team (12-33, 2-9 WAC) put together a pair of strong performances in a Friday doubleheader with CSU Bakersfield (5-33, 2-9 WAC), picking up their first two Western Athletic Conference (WAC) wins of the year by final scores of 8-2 and 4-1.
UMKC got off to a hot start in game one, taking an early 1-0 lead as Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) led off the bottom of the first on a hit by pitch and would later come around to score on a Maegan Rollow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) sacrifice fly, her 14th RBI of the season. The team would strike for three more in the second to take a commanding 4-0 lead. After a leadoff triple from Alyx Bloom (Clay Center, Kan.) one of her team-leading three hits in the contest, back to back walks loaded the bases set the stage for a big inning.
Garcia deliver with an RBI groundout for the second out in the frame before Ashlin O'Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) came through with a big two-out single to right center that drove in a pair of UMKC baserunners. The two-RBI knock was one of three hits in the game for O’Brien, who also picked up another RBI later in the contest for a game-high three runs driven in.
The early scoring would ultimately be more than enough for Roos starting pitcher Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.) who put together a dominant complete-game performance in the circle. Fluehr allowed just two runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts, improving her record to 5-9 on the season.
After CSUB struck for a pair of runs in the fourth, UMKC quickly responded with two of their own in the bottom of the frame on a two-RBI single from Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.), upping her RBI total to 25 on the season. Back to back RBI singles from Garcia and O’Brien in the fifth put the finishing touches on a dominant 8-2 win to open up the series.
Scoring was much harder to come by in game two of the doubleheader as CSUB starter Summer Evans and UMKC starter Lynsey Conner (Peggs, Okla.) went toe to toe in an impressive pitcher’s duel. Through four innings of play, both hurlers kept their opposing lineups off the board with the help of some terrific defensive play on both sides.
In the top of the fifth, CSUB had runners on the corners with two away and attempted a double steal to scratch across the first run of the game. The attempt was snuffed out perfectly by UMKC as Bloom’s throw down to second was cut-off by Goodwin in front of the bag and her return throw to Bloom narrowly beat the runner at home to end the frame.
The Roos would capitalize on the momentum in the bottom of the inning as an RBI triple from Garcia, her third triple of the season, plated Faith Willis (Kearney, Mo.) for the first score in the contest. O’Brien added another run with an RBI single for her fourth run driven in on the day to give UMKC a 2-0 lead into the sixth.
Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) would add some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run bomb to deep left center field, her sixth home run and 24th RBI of the season. Byrn also made her presence felt in the field with a handful of terrific plays at shortstop, including a diving grab in the whole that robbed CSUB of an RBI single in the third inning.
Conner’s attempt to close out the complete-game shutout fell short in the final inning of play, walking and hitting the first two batters of the frame before being relieved by Fluehr to close out the contest. Fluehr would allow one of the runners to score before closing out the game with a 4-1 win. Conner’s stellar line finished with one run allowed on two hits over six strong innings in the circle, improving her record to 6-14 on the season. Fluehr earned her first save of the year in shutting the door for the team’s second WAC win of the season.
– UMKC –