Tigers prep for eight road games in five-day stretch

Fort Hays State Softball is set to begin an eight-game, five-day stretch on the road this weekend. The Tigers travel to Emporia, and Topeka, for conference games with Emporia State and Washburn on Friday and Saturday, respectively, before taking on Newman Monday and Rockhurst Tuesday in non-conference road action.

Complete schedule for the road trip

Date Opponent Location Time
Friday, April 10 Emporia State (DH) Emporia, Kan. 5/7 p.m.
Saturday, April 11 Washburn (DH) Topeka, Kan. 1/3 p.m.
Monday, April 13 Newman (DH) Wichita, Kan. 4/6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 14 Rockhurst (DH) Kansas City, Mo. 1/3 p.m.

FHSU (21-16, 12-8 MIAA) is coming off a weekend split of its doubleheaders with Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri State. In six total games last week, the Tigers continued their trend of hot hitting, posting a .347 average with 33 total runs scored. Those numbers fall in line with FHSU’s performance over the past 10 games, in which FHSU has hit .346 with 101 total hits and 54 runs (52 RBI). FHSU has eighth home runs in the last 10 game and has drilled 21 doubles, drawing 26 walks. For the season, the Tigers have elevated their team average near the .300 mark (.283) and have four individuals above that threshold.

Mackenzie Villarreal has settled into her role as designated player and is hitting .395 in 21 appearances (nine consecutive starts). Tori Beltz (.328) and Amanda Vaupel (.328) have started all 37 games and rank as the team’s top offensive threats. Beltz leads the Tigers with 13 doubles, six home runs, 19 walks and 32 RBI on the year while Vaupel has eight doubles, six home runs and 27 RBI. Samantha Villarreal is hitting .312 through the year with seven doubles, just ahead of Jenna Lang (.297), Courtney Dobson (.294) and Kylie Strand (.290) on the Tigers’ leaderboard. Strand has matched Vaupel’s extra base output with eight doubles and six home runs this season.

Kelsey Kimminau (10-7, 2.82 ERA) had a strong showing last week, going 3-0 with two complete games, tossing a team-high 19 innings while striking out 10 and posting a 2.21 ERA. Overall this season, Kimminau has tossed 106.2 innings with 55 strikeouts, and is tied with teammate Paxton Duran (10-8, 2.86 ERA) for the team lead in wins this season. Duran has thrown 115 innings and struck out 121 opponents, holding opponents to a .254 average.

In looking at the conference standings, No. 15 ESU (27-11, 10-4 MIAA) sits tied for third with Central Oklahoma, while Washburn (20-17, 8-8 MIAA) is three spots behind the Tigers in ninth. FHSU has six conference games remaining and will look to improve its sixth place standing in the final push of the regular season.

The early week games at Newman (10-28) and Rockhurst (20-12) are regional games for the Tigers as the regular season draws to a close. FHSU and NU squared off last week in a doubleheader in hays, which the Tigers swept with 9-3 and 5-0 wins.

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