MACOMB, Ill. - Fighting Leatherneck softball fell 15-9 in a heartbreaking, back-and-forth seven-inning battle to UMKC on Senior Day (May 6) to end their postseason hopes. Western Illinois ends its season with an overall mark of 23-28 and a Summit League record of 13-11.
Offense was present early in the ballgame as UMKC jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on one hit and two errors.
Western Illinois answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame. Emma Jarrell and Jamie Goss reached on a hit by pitch and walk, respectively. A single to center off the bat of Ashley Campbell gave the Leathernecks their first run of the game and her 30th RBI of the season.
The Kangaroos added three more runs in the second and kept the Leatherneck sticks quiet with a three up, three down bottom half to give the ballgame a 6-1 score.
The Fighting Leatherneck offense recharged in the third to bring them within two of the Kangaroos. Briana Williams opened the frame with a single to center and advanced to third on a Goss single to left. A sacrifice fly from Ashley Campbell, a walk from Hailey Bickford and a UMKC error added up to three runs.
The Western Illinois bats stayed hot in the fourth scoring three runs to take a 7-6 lead. KC Dunne got the inning started with a double off the wall in center, her third of the season. Williams walked and Jarrell was hit by her second pitch of the game to set the table for Campbell who again delivered with a sacrifice fly. An errant throw on the play and a wild pitch on the next gave the Leathernecks two more.
A three-run homerun in the fifth allowed UMKC to regain the advantage, and the Kangaroos never looked back adding two more in the sixth and four in the seventh to clinch the final bid to the Summit League Championships next weekend (May 10-12).
Campbell, who was a perfect two-for-two, led the Leathernecks in RBI with three. Tallying two RBI was Bickford, who was one-for-three on the day. Williams, Goss and Kelly each had two hits in the contest, while Dunne had one.
Bickford (9-13) took the loss in the circle, while UMKC's Cinda Ramos tallied her 13th win of the season.