LAWRENCE, Kan. – The UMKC softball team (6-17) scored two runs with bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning, but the Kansas Jayhawks (16-9) came up with the 5-3 victory over the Roos in the first game of the Rock Chalk Challenge at Arrocha Ballpark on Thursday.
Freshman Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) and shortstop Morgan Byrn (Lawrence, Kan.) each singled in the top of the first inning, before Ashlin O’Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) reached on an error by the first baseman, to load the bases for UMKC with one out. The Jayhawks were able to escape the inning, leaving all three Roos on base.
In the bottom of the first inning, Kansas jumped on the board after scoring two runs on four hits to take an early lead over UMKC.
Each side went down in order in the second inning before Kendra Leach (Easton, Kan.) singled up the middle to start action for UMKC in the third inning. Byrn reached on a fielder’s choice and a two-out double to left field by O’Brien put the Roos in scoring position. Sophomore Bri Sims (Rowlett, Texas) hit a single to right field, bringing Byrn home and putting UMKC on the board.
In the fourth inning, with bases loaded for the Jayhawks, a sac fly to center field and an error gave Kansas the 4-1 cushion going into the fifth inning, who then added to its lead in the sixth inning.
Leach singled up the middle to start UMKC’s momentum in the seventh inning. Kansas’ starting pitcher hit Bryn to put two on base for the Roos. In the following at-bat, O’Brien was walked to load the bases for UMKC with one out.
A sac fly to right field by Sims brought Leach home and advanced Byrn to third, cutting into Kansas’ lead. Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) hit one up the middle and reached first on an error by the shortstop, also allowing Byrn to score, but the Jayhawk pitcher would throw a strikeout to Abbi Johnson (Midwest City, Okla.) to secure the win.
The Roos will continue the Rock Chalk Challenge on Friday with games against Tulsa and Southeast Missouri.
– UMKC –