Tigers close spring break trip with two wins over Lindenwood

Fort Hays State held Lindenwood to just three runs while racking up 25 hits for the second consecutive day, sweeping the Lions in a conference doubleheader on Saturday. FHSU scored nine runs in the final three innings of game one to win, 11-2, and took the second game, 5-1.
FHSU (15-12, 8-4 MIAA) closed out its spring break road trip at 6-2 with two sweeps, and begins a 10-game homestand next Friday in a doubleheader with Northeastern State at Tiger Stadium.

[divider]Fort Hays State 11, Lindenwood 2[/divider] A 13-hit effort and four Lindenwood errors helped FHSU roll to its third consecutive win and defeat the Lions, 11-2, in the first game of the day.

Paxton Duran (8-5) won her fourth straight game, going the distance with two runs allowed on five hits. Duran struck out seven and walked two.

Nine Tigers found their way into the hit category, led by multi-hit games from Kylie Strand, Tori Beltz, Amanda Vaupel and Courtney Dobson. Strand and Duran each had two RBI in the game, with Strand hitting a two-run home run and Duran and Beltz picking up doubles.

FHSU started early with back-to-back one-out singles from Erin Elmore and Tori Beltz in the first, then loaded the bases when Samantha Villarreal was hit by a pitch. Amanda Vaupel‘s RBI single scored Elmore in the next at-bat, and though FHSU kept the bases loaded, they were limited to just one run.

LWU tied it in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two runs on three hits – including an RBI double from Hannah Braun. That tie was short lived, however, as FHSU struck back with three runs of its own in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of a one-out error to score three runs.

Samantha Villarreal led off the inning with a single, and after Gabrielle Sandoval pinch ran for the designated player, a ground out moved Sandoval to second. Duran followed with a double to plate Sandoval, and after a walk from Veronica Knittig, Mackenzie Villarreal reached on an error in a pinch hit situation, allowing Duran and Knittig to score.

FHSU led, 5-2, at that point and extended its lead with two more runs in the sixth. After Elmore reached on an error to lead off the inning (moving to third on the play), Beltz’s double brought Elmore home and sent Samantha Villarreal to the plate – who walked. A single from Vaupel loaded the bases, and with one out, Duran’s fly out to center field was deep enough to score Beltz.

In the seventh, the Tigers added four more runs to reach double figures for the second consecutive game. Dobson led off the inning with a single and promptly came around to score as Strand belted her third home run of the season (and second in two games), making it 9-2. From there, Elmore (hit by pitch), Beltz (walk) and Samantha Villarreal (error) all reached safely to load the bases, and back-to-back pinch hit singles from Adara Erickson and Jenna Lang scored Elmore and Beltz for the final runs of the game.

For Lindenwood, Kendall Ryndak took the loss after allowing six runs (one earned) in 4.2 innings pitched while Brooke Miller gave up five runs in the final 2.1 innings thrown. Alexandra Newcomb was 2-for-3 in the game with a double.

[divider]Fort Hays State 5, Lindenwood 1[/divider] Fort Hays State never trailed in Saturday’s finale and had 12 hits in a 5-1 victory over Lindenwood to complete the sweep.

Kelsey Kimminau (6-6) won her second consecutive game and reached the .500 mark, throwing six innings with just one run allowed. Kimminau scattered seven hits and struck out three (walking no one) before Savannah Price threw the final inning, giving up just one hit.

Strand, Samantha Villarreal and Vaupel put together two-hit performances, with six other Tigers recording a hit. Beltz, Samantha Villarreal and Vaupel had doubles for the games’ only extra-base hits.

With one out in the second, Strand drew a walk before moving to second as Elmore reached safely on an error. Beltz followed with her team-leading seventh double of the season, scoring Strand and pushing Elmore to third. After an out, Elmore came home as Vaupel reached on the second error of the inning, making it 2-0 in FHSU’s favor.

The lead reached four in the fifth inning as FHSU strung together four hits to plate two more Tigers. Elmore led off with a single and moved to third on Samantha Villarreal‘s one-out double. Vaupel continued the hit parade with a double of her own, scoring Elmore and moving two runners into scoring position. With two outs, Kimminau drew a walk to load the bases and Mackenzie Villarreal singled home Samantha Villarreal for the game’s fourth run.

LWU got one back in its half of the fifth behind Ryndak’s RBI single, but that was it for the Lions as FHSU struck for one more in the sixth and closed out the win. After two fielder’s choices left Beltz on first with two outs, Samantha Villarreal and Vaupel strung together two straight singles to move Beltz home.

Morgan Colvis took the loss for the Lions, throwing 4.1 innings with four runs allowed (three earned) and three strikeouts. Maria Tippett finished 3-for-3 in the game and Brooklyn Sisk was 2-for-3

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