Kansas City took advantage of the Western Illinois pitchers on Saturday, leading to back-to-back victories in the four-game stretch.
The Roos offense was clicking on all fronts, resulting in two masterful games. In the first game, both teams were scoreless through two innings until UMKC pitcher Mia Hoveland walked Western Illinois catcher Meghan Henson. Leatherneck shortstop Sydney Hollings then delivered a double, sending Henson home and leading to a score of 0-1.
Kansas City struggled for a time, not earning a single run through five innings. Then third baseman Ally Vonfeldt walked up to the plate, with center fielder Kloe Hilbrenner on second base. After a wild pitch sent Hilbrenner to third, Vonfeldt delivered the winning strike. She homered to left field on a 2-1 count. Hoveland closed out the game and Kansas City won 2-1.
In the second game, the Roos were in zen mode early. Patience allowed Kansas City to score six runs in the first three innings, led by shortstop Katherine Karnatz and first baseman Lia Lombardini, who both delivered two runs batted in. The Roos would end up winning 6-2.
Despite having three total errors, Kansas City’s fielding defense played a clean enough game to limit Western Illinois run output. Despite Western Illinois racking up a total of 11 hits, the Roos only allowed three runs.
Coach Kerry Shaw made great decisions throughout. He made defensive changes to ensure that the opponent would not come back. Kansas City has found their mojo defensively, and should continue this trend if they want to win even more games.
Mia Hoveland had an amazing game once again. She is improving start by start. She allowed one run on three hits, while striking out eight batters. This is the kind of game an ace would have. Hoveland should build up on this impressive performance and continue to dominate for the Roos.
Following the series, the Roos take on Iowa State on April 27.