UVU softball: Wolverines downed Saturday, drop WAC series to UMKC

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 19 2014 2:45 p.m. MDT

A Megan Peay home run in the top of the seventh got Utah Valley University to within striking distance, but the rally stopped there as the Wolverines fell to Kansas City, 3-2, on Saturday, suffering a two-games-to-one defeat in the WAC series.

Peay capped a 2-for-3 day at the plate when she lifted an 0-1 pitch over the center field wall for a solo home run, cutting a two-run Wolverine deficit in half. It was the second home run of the season for the junior who also singled in the second inning for her first multi-hit outing on the year. UVU (13-31, 5-7 WAC) got no closer, though, as UMKC (16-32, 5-7 WAC) pitcher Katie Kelly retired the next two Wolverine hitters.

Kelly notched her second complete game victory in as many outings against the Wolverines this series, striking out seven and allowing just two runs, both earned, on seven hits. In Friday's nightcap, she limited UVU to only one run on three hits while striking out three.

The Kangaroos struck in the first, chasing Utah Valley starter Kelsey Lawton after just two-thirds of an inning. UMKC scored two runs on three hits to begin the game before Bailey Moore came on in for the Wolverines. Moore threw the remainder of the game, giving up just one run on three hits in that span.

Utah Valley got a run back in the top of the second, though, when Brianna Gatlin singled up the middle to score Amanda Robinson from third. Robinson led off the frame with a single — her fifth hit of the series — and ended the day 1-for-3. For Gatlin, the team leader in RBIs at 25, Saturday's single provided her with her first RBI in the last seven games.

The 2-1 scoreline held until the fifth inning where UMKC found the insurance run it needed to protect against Peay's impending seventh-inning blast. The Kangaroos broke through against Moore as a groundout and wild pitch advanced Brooke Parker, who had led off the frame with a single, to third with just one out. A Kelly single in the ensuing at-bat scored Parker to put the home team in front, 3-1.

For the series, the freshman Moore threw a team-high 13.0 innings against the Kangaroos, allowing 10 hits and striking out 10 batters. She finished the series 0-1 with a 2.69 ERA with a start and two appearances in relief.

Meanwhile, Robinson finished the series at a stellar 5-for-9 at the plate, good for a .556 batting average. She hit a home run on Friday, drove in two runs and scored four more herself.

The Wolverines return to Utah for a jam packed schedule next week. UVU visits Utah on Monday in a non-conference doubleheader before returning to Orem to face Southern Utah on Monday in another twin bill. WAC play resumes Friday as the Wolverines wrap up conference play in a three-game set against New Mexico State.

Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.