Softball splits again


TOPEKA, Kan. – Fort Hays State remained in its recent split pattern on Monday (Feb. 28) at the Washburn Invitational. The Tigers made a big rally but came up a run short in a 7-6 loss to Sioux Falls, but rebounded for an 8-6 win over Wayne State (Neb.). The Tigers are now 7-11 overall on the season.

Sioux Falls 7, Fort Hays State 6
Fort Hays State fell down by seven runs early after Sioux Falls did all of its scoring in the first and second innings. FHSU battled back to just a one-run deficit with a big fifth inning, but came up empty on scoring chances in the sixth and seventh as the Cougars held on for a 7-6 win over the Tigers.

Sioux Falls scored three of four runs in the first inning on a bases-clearing double. Jessica Espinoza tried to make a diving catch in centerfield to preserve just a 1-0 USF lead, but was just short of making the grab and all three runners came in to score. A pair of errors in the second plagued the Tigers, which led to three unearned runs.

The Tigers got on the board with a Loren Beggs sacrifice fly RBI in the third, making it 7-1. The big rally in the fifth started with back-to-back walks by Lindsey Kelly and Kiana Blake. Beggs picked up her second RBI by driving a ball to the right center gap for a double and then Sara Breckbill drew a walk to load the bases. Madison Pierce picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly, then Betsy Parmley lined a double to the right-center gap to score two. Sarah Tiffany capped the rally with an RBI single to left center.

The Tigers managed to get runners to second and third with one out in the sixth, but the Cougars thwarted a squeeze play by cutting down the runner at the plate. A strikeout then ended the Tiger threat. The Tigers stayed alive with a pair of two-out singles in the seventh, but a ground out ended the game.

Savanah Egger started the game and threw just 1.1 innings. Four of her seven runs allowed were earned. Bailey Carlson threw the final 5.2 innings in relief and kept the USF bats in check, allowing just one hit the rest of the way. Egger and Carlson combined for a pair of strikeouts. Hanna Cress threw 5.1 innings to get the win for USF, allowing three runs. Kennedy Thomas relieved for 1.2 innings and also allowed three runs.

Fort Hays State 8, Wayne State 6
The Tigers held the lead first in a back-and-forth battle with Wayne State. FHSU plated a pair of runs in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Regan Curry and a single by Jessica Espinoza. Wayne State picked up its first run in the second and then jumped into the lead 4-2 with a three-run home run in the third.

The Tigers took the lead back, 5-4, in the fourth inning with three runs. After loading the bases, Sara Breckbill came in to score on a wild pitch and then Kiana Blake and Loren Beggs delivered RBI singles. They added on in the sixth with a pair of sacrifice flies from Beggs and Breckbill, making it 7-4. Wayne State made tightened the lead once again with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth, but Regan Curry hit her first collegiate home run in the top of the seventh to produce the final spread of 8-6.

Erika Flynn threw the first 2.0 innings and yielded four runs before turning the ball over to Morgan Schmidt who gave up two runs in 3.0 innings of relief. Savanah Egger closed out the game with a two-inning save, preserving a win for Schmidt. Egger did not allow a hit and walked just one. All three FHSU pitchers had one strikeout each.

Hadley Chvatal took the loss for Wayne State, charged with the first five runs allowed to FHSU in 4.0 innings. Sami Felt allowed three runs in three innings of relief.

The Tigers return to Topeka next Saturday and Sunday (Mar. 5-6) for doubleheaders with Truman and Missouri S&T. Those games will be at Washburn University’s home softball field.

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