Tigers split with No. 14 Missouri Western at home

Fort Hays State Softball used a seven-run burst in the early innings of game two to split its doubleheader against No. 14 Missouri Western on Friday at Tiger Stadium. FHSU saw its comeback efforts fall short in a 7-5 game one loss, but the offensive rally carried over into the early parts of game two for an 8-7 win.

FHSU (20-15, 11-7 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) closed out a 10-game homestand on Saturday with a Noon doubleheader against Northwest Missouri State.

Complete recaps of Friday's games

No. 14 Missouri Western 7, Fort Hays State 5

Fort Hays State rallied late but couldn’t complete the comeback in game one, falling to the ranked Griffons, 7-5, to start the day. The Tigers outscored MWSU, 5-3, after the first, but an early 3-0 deficit proved too much for FHSU.

Paxton Duran (10-7) took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in four innings pitched. Duran struck out one and walked two before Sarah Cochran entered to throw the final three innings in shutout fashion with four strikeouts.

Amanda Vaupel had the Tigers’ only base hit (a double) but six other Tigers recorded hits in the game. Vaupel finished 1-for-3 with two RBI and Tori Beltz was 1-for-4 with two RBI.

MWSU used a three-run home run in the top of the first to jump out to an early lead, later adding to it with one run in the top of the fourth. From there, the lead stretched to 7-0 in the top of the sixth before the Tigers woke up to score five over the final two innings.

In the bottom of the sixth, Courtney Dobson led off the inning with a single to right before Kylie Strand reached on a fielder’s choice. With one on and one out, Erin Elmore singled to right before both Elmore and Strand moved up on a wild pitch. From there, Samantha Villarreal singled to drive home Strand and Vaupel drove a pitch into right for a two-RBI double, cutting the lead to four (7-4)

The Tigers again struck in the seventh, but it was too late as MWSU held on for the win. After Dobson walked and strand again reached on a fielder’s choice (though an error allowed Dobson to reach second safely), Beltz came through with a one-out single to score the two baserunners.


Fort Hays State 8, No. 14 Missouri Western 7

A 7-0 lead in the first two innings propelled the Tigers to an 8-7 win to close the doubleheader with Missouri Western.

Kelsey Kimminau (9-7) picked up the win after throwing five innings, striking out four with five runs allowed. Sarah Cochran threw an inning with two runs allowed while Savannah Price closed out the game for her first save of the season.

Vaupel was 3-for-4 in the game and was one of four Tigers to have multiple hit games. Vaupel (three RBI) and Strand (two RBI) each had a home run and a double, Veronica Knittig (2-for-3) had a home run and Erin Elmore had two hits. Beltz had the Tigers’ other extra base hit – a double.

Strand started the game with a double, moving to third on Elmore’s ground out. With two outs, Samantha Villarreal drew a walk and Vaupel followed by taking an 0-1 pitch on a line over the right field fence.

In the second, FHSU extended its lead with four more runs – starting with Knittig’s solo shot. From there, Dobson walked and Strand hit a two-run blast for her sixth round-tripper of the season. Elmore then singled as the fourth straight Tiger to reach base, and came around to score when Beltz doubed to left field. The Tigers put runners on second and third, but couldn’t plate any more runs.

After MWSU got two back in the third and fourth, a two out single from Rilee Krier in the bottom of the fourth to score Samantha Villarreal, making it 8-2.

MWSU continued to push over the next two innings, cutting the deficit to one with three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth, but the Tigers buckled down and held on for the win, working past a leadoff walk in the seventh to keep the Griffons at bay.

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