CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The UMKC softball team (0-1) opened up the 2018 schedule Friday morning with a 5-3 loss to South Dakota State (1-0) in the UNI-Dome Classic.
Sophomore Andra O’Brien (Fond du Lac, Wis.) was in the circle as the starting pitcher for the season opener and found herself in a sticky situation early. A leadoff double followed by an RBI single by the first two batters of the game gave the Jackrabbits an early lead. She would retire third place hitter Ali Herdeslika but would walk the next two in loading the bases.
O’Brien dug deep to come up with a huge strikeout followed by a foul out to left field to strand all three runners and keep the game at 1-0. On the day, the sophomore hurler battled through four innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and striking out a pair in picking up the loss.
UMKC quickly answered in the home half of the first where Sydney Garcia (Kansas City, Mo.) led off the inning with a single and stolen base. The next two reached safely to load the bases with no outs to set up an excellent scoring chance.
Kelsey Goodwin (Broken Arrow, Okla.) came through with a sac fly to center field to score Garcia and tie the game at 1-1. The Roos were unable to strike for further damage as Olivia Fluehr (Loves Park, Ill.) grounded into a double play to end the inning.
South Dakota State drove in two runs in the third and one in the fourth, all coming with two outs, to take a 4-1 lead in the middle innings and ending O’Brien’s day on the rubber. Fluehr took over the pitching duties in the fifth and allowed another run as the Jackrabbits pushed their advantage to 5-1.
After retiring the side in order in the top of the sixth, UMKC sparked a two-out rally in the bottom half of the frame in a late comeback effort. Fluehr doubled and was pinch ran for by Kamrie Harrison (Moore, Okla.), who would score on a throwing error on Maegan Rollow’s (Broken Arrow, Okla.) infield single.
Rollow would later score on an Alyx Bloom (Clay Center, Kan.) ground-rule double to cut trim the deficit to 5-3. The rally would come up short however as Garcia hit into a fielder’s choice with runners on the corners.
Rollow had an absolutely stellar day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a stolen base in the game. Garcia and As. O’Brien also recorded two-hit days in the contest.
Three players – Fluehr, Harrison and Tiler Noyola (Montgomery, Texas) made their debuts for UMKC in the game. Harrison scored a run, Noyola picked up her first career hit and Fluehr completed three innings in the circle, allowing one run on two hits in her outing.
The Roos continue play in the UNI-Dome Classic with a pair of games tomorrow morning. The team will take on Southeast Missouri State at 8 a.m. CT before squaring off with Green Bay at 10:15 a.m. CT. Both games will have Live Stats available.
– UMKC –