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Women’s softball: Kansas City falls to Oklahoma in a 6-2 loss after beating Houston

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After accepting the invitation to the Hall of Fame Tournament, Kansas City’s softball team delivered a huge win in the first of two games on Friday. (Instagram)

After accepting the invitation to the Hall of Fame Tournament, Kansas City’s softball team delivered a huge win in the first of two games on Friday. They beat the University of Houston 9-3, where offense was the name of the game.

But then came the best team in the nation.

Facing the top team in the nation was something Coach Kerry Shaw knew was going to be a challenge. Regardless, he had faith in his team. 

“We all, players included, expected to be able to compete with Oklahoma,” Shaw said. “They are a superior team to any team that we have played thus far, but we believe that we are also a solid team and that we can compete with anyone.”

The game got off to a good start when the second inning came around. Designated player Delaney Fenoglio was getting ready to bat with Ally Vonfeldt on base. She was having a good day on Friday when she helped deliver a run in the game against Houston. When she saw the right pitch, she swung the bat hard. The ball went screaming over the right field wall. This gave the Roos a 2-0 lead.

As the innings progressed, the Roos were playing lights out in terms of pitching and fielding. Pitching for the game was Junior Mia Hoveland, who prior to the game had a 2.50 ERA and was on a 5 game winning streak. It looked like Kansas City was going to pull out with a victory.

Then, Oklahoma showed them why they are the best team in the nation.

At the bottom of the fifth, Oklahoma began to rally. It started with a single by Nicole Mendes, followed by a single from Mackenzie Donihoo. Then another single by Grace Green led to an error by Kansas City that drove in two runs. The game was tied. 

Tiare Jennings followed that up with a double to right field, where another error led to one more run. The Roos were down 3-2. Then Jocelyn Alo delivered the final blow, hammering in her 17th home run of the season, moving the score up to 5-2. The Roos’ pitcher Hoveland was then pulled out of the game and replaced by Hayley Patterson.

After being pulled out, Coach Shaw sat down with Hoveland and talked to her about her performance. 

“We told Mia that she threw excellent, but the Oklahoma hitters made the necessary adjustments in their third at bats,” Shaw said. “They are just so talented as hitters that there has not been any team that has been able to hold them down for a full seven-inning game.”

Oklahoma would drive in yet another run in the sixth inning, and that ended Kansas City’s hope of winning the game.

Overall, the team was not clicking in all levels of the game when it mattered most. After scoring two runs in the first, the Roos were not able to drive in another run. They ended up leaving five runners on base. 

Hoveland was having a strong game until the fifth inning, where she could not seem to get off the plate until she allowed a total of five runs. The team also committed four fielding errors, including two crucial errors in the fifth inning. 

Coach Shaw said that the team plans to make sure and give their full attention to each play going forward. 

“These 18-22 year old ladies are bound to have a bad stretch in a game from time to time, but I trust that we will have many great fielding days on the horizon as well,” Shaw said.

Regardless of the loss, Shaw said he is still satisfied with how the team has performed in the first fifteen games, but still sees room for improvement. 

“We’ve been satisfied with how we have played as a unit, as we have found ways to win with all different phases of the game being the catalyst at different times, ” Shaw said. “Our pitching has been very good other than just a few times, our defense has been solid for the most part except for a few times just like today’s letdown, and our offense has been solid except for a few times just like today’s game vs Oklahoma. Even though we have been pretty solid overall, I feel that we let a few games get away from us due to a lack of execution in one of those phases of the game.”

The Roos look to bounce back from this loss with a matchup on March 19th, where they will face Wichita State University in the 2021 Oklahoma State invite.

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Cristian Martinez
Cristian Martinez, Sports Editor
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