Run-rule victory in game two leads Tigers to split with RiverHawks

Fort Hays State returned to Tiger Stadium with a doubleheader split against Northeastern State on Friday. The Tigers fell in extra innings in game one, 5-4, before rallying for a 13-4 run-rule victory in six innings for game two.

FHSU (16-13, 9-5 MIAA) continued to swing the bat well, racking up 30 hits over the two games. FHSU has had at least 25 hits in the previous three doubleheaders and has scored 52 runs over the previous six games, breaking out of an early season slump that hampered the team early.

[divider]Complete recaps of Friday’s games are below.[/divider]

Rilee Krier was 3-for-4 at the plate while Kylie Strand had two hits and an RBI, including her fifth double of the season.

Scoreless through the first 4.5 innings of play, FHSU took a 1-0 lead in the fifth off Courtney Dobson‘s RBI single. FHSU had runners on first and second with no outs in the inning, but a line drive out and double play followed to end the Tigers’ threat.

NSU rebounded in the sixth with four runs on five hits, taking advantage of back-to-back doubles from Alyssa Aguilar and Ryan Martin in the inning.

Down to its final chance in the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers scrapped together four hits and took advantage of an NSU error to tie the game up. Krier led off the inning with an infield single before Mackenzie Villarreal walked and Dobson reached on a fielder’s choice. With one out, Strand doubled through the left side to score Knittig (who re-entered for Mackenzie Villarreal and a single from Elmore followed to push Dobson home. With two outs, the Tigers loaded the bases when Samantha Villarreal reached on a two-out error to send Amanda Vaupel to the plate. Vaupel singled up the middle on the first pitch she saw to score Strand and tie the game, but the Tigers couldn’t push the game winner home and went to extras.

In the top of the eighth, Paige Gann’s eighth home run of the season was the go-ahead run and eventual game winner as FHSU couldn’t score in its half of the eighth and fell, 5-4.

Fort Hays State 13, Northeastern State 4 (Six innings)
Fort Hays State strung together 20 hits, including five extra base hits while cruising to a 13-4 run-rule win in the doubleheader finale.

Kelsey Kimminau (7-6) earned the win, tossing six innings with 10 hits allowed and seven strikeouts. Kimminau allowed four runs in the first two innings but settled down over the final four frames. The RiverHawks’ Laura Fleck started the game, throwing two innings before Krissy Crow (1-3) entered. Crow took the loss after allowing four runs in 1.1 innings pitched before Alex Files threw the final 1.2 innings to close the game.

Strand had a team-high four hits while Vaupel, Mackenzie Villarreal and Krier all finished 3-for-4. Vaupel had a three-run home run and Elmore, Tori Beltz, Knittig and Mackenzie Villarreal had doubles. Dobson had four RBI in the game off of two hits.

NSU struck with three runs in the first behind Aguilar’s three-run home run, but the Tigers responded with a four-spot in the bottom half to take a 4-3 lead.

Strand singled and Elmore doubled to start the inning before both scored on Beltz’s two-RBI single into center field. From there, Samantha Villarrel was hit by a pitch and Mackenzie Villarreal had a one-out single through the left side that scored Beltz. Later in the inning with bases loaded, Knittig hit a sacrifice fly deep enough to center and plated Samantha Villarreal.

The RiverHawks tied the game, 4-4, in the second after an FHSU error allowed runners on second and third with no outs. Jessica Boone’s single scored Bailey Applegate, but the Tigers limited the damage and held the RiverHawks to just one run.

FHSU tacked on five more runs in the fourth to retake the lead, 9-4. Elmore singled to start the inning and Beltz walked, and with one out Vaupel drove the first pitch she saw over the left field wall. Mackenzie Villarreal followed with a double to restart the offensive threat and after a Rilee Krier single (and a stolen base), Dobson took a 2-1 pitch back up the middle to score both Tigers.

The Tigers had four straight hits to start the inning and all six Tigers who went to the plate reached base as FHSU scored four runs and run-ruled the RiverHawks in the sixth. Krier again reached base to lead off the sixth with a single through the right side, moving to third on Knittig’s double. Dobson added to her RBI total with a single through the right side that scored both Krier and Knittig, and the Tigers loaded the bases off when Strand singled and Elmore reached on an error. Beltz then doubled on a 1-0 pitch to score Dobson and Strand while clinching the win.

Sound Off!