Softball falls twice to Lions

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

JOPLIN, Mo. – Fort Hays State managed only one run on Saturday (Apr. 2), which resulted in a pair of losses to Missouri Southern. The Lions took game one 8-0 by run rule in six innings, then scored twice in the sixth inning of game two to break a tie late and won 3-1. Missouri Southern moved to 20-15 overall and 8-4 in the MIAA, while FHSU is now 16-19-1 overall and 2-6 in the MIAA.

Game 1: Missouri Southern 8, Fort Hays State 0
The Lions took control of game one early with four runs in the first. They loaded the bases and then went on to get a pair of 2-RBI singles back-to-back for the early cushion. The Tigers had run-scoring opportunities in the first, second, and third innings, but could not cash anything in. The Lions went on to add two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth, and one in the sixth to force the run rule.

Savanah Egger had a tough time finding outs in the first inning and lasted just a third of an inning with four hits and a walk allowed. She allowed the first four runs to the Lions. Morgan Schmidt came in an stopped the Lions from any further damage in the first inning and pitched the remaining 4.2 innings. Two of the four runs she allowed were unearned. She struck out one. Kara Amos pitched a complete game for the Lions, allowing five hits and three walks. She struck out four.

The Tigers’ five hits were scattered over five different players, including Jessica Espinoza, Loren Beggs, Sara Breckbill, Regan Curry, and Kiana Blake.

Game 2: Missouri Southern 3, Fort Hays State 1
Missouri Southern took an early lead once again in the second contest, this time with one run in the first on a two-out RBI single. However, Bailey Carlson settled in from that point to hold the Lions scoreless for the next four innings.

The Tigers finally broke through with a run in the third, but they could have got more with the bases loaded and no outs. A strikeout gave the Lions one out, then Sara Breckbill tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field. The Lions picked up the third out after that and kept the game tied 1-1.

The Lions started their sixth-inning rally by leading the inning off with a walk. After a stolen base, a double broke the tie and then a dropped fly ball on what would have been the third out of the inning allowed another run to score. The Tigers did not have a late rally in them for a second straight day as they fell 3-1.

Bailey Lacy pitched a complete game for the Lions with four hits and three walks. She struck out nine. Carlson also threw a complete game for the Tigers, allowing five hits and two walks. The last of her three runs allowed was unearned.

The Tigers will be at home next weekend to host Washburn and Emporia State in MIAA play. The Tigers take on Washburn on Friday at Tiger Stadium starting at 2 pm.

Friday

PITTSBURG, Kan. – After securing its first MIAA win of the season with a win in game one, Fort Hays State put together a late four-run rally to sweep its doubleheader with Pittsburg State on Friday (Apr. 1). The Tigers took game one 5-1, then turned an 8-5 deficit into a 9-8 win with their last-inning rally in game two. FHSU is now 16-17-1 overall on the season and 2-4 in the MIAA, while PSU moved to 21-14 overall, 3-7 in the MIAA.

Fort Hays State 5, Pittsburg State 1
Fort Hays State jumped out to a 5-0 lead early and Savanah Egger limited the Gorillas to just one run in a complete-game effort in the pitching circle as the Tigers notched their first MIAA win of the season.

Jessica Espinoza reached base to start the game on an error by the Gorillas and a few moments later, she came in to score on a sacrifice bunt by Loren Beggs, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

In the third inning, Kiana Blake and Espinoza sparked a rally with back-to-back singles. Sarah Tiffany followed with a 2-RBI double to score both. Loren Beggs knocked Tiffany home with an RBI single and then the Tigers loaded the bases with Sara Breckbill drawing a walk and Madison Pierce picking up a single. Regan Curry pushed one more run across with a sacrifice fly to score Beggs, making it 5-0 Tigers after two and a half innings.

Meanwhile in the pitching circle, Egger allowed only three baserunners over the first five innings. She held the Gorillas scoreless until the sixth when back-to-back singles set up runners at first and third. Egger got a strikeout before the Gorillas pushed their one run across on a sacrifice fly. She got a groundout to end any further threat from the Gorillas.

Egger finished with eight strikeouts in her complete-game effort, allowing just five hits and one walk. The Tigers did all of their scoring damage against Abby Atkin, who allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits in just 2.1 innings of work. Madison Morris held the Tigers in check the final 4.2 innings that she relieved.

Game 2: Fort Hays State 9, Pittsburg State 8
Fort Hays State put together a late rally for a come-from-behind 9-8 win in game two. The Tigers scored four runs in the seventh inning to go from three down to one up. Savanah Egger came in to preserve the lead and got the job done to give the Tigers a sweep of the doubleheader.

The Tigers held the lead early in this game when Madison Pierce hit a two-run homer in the second inning. The Gorillas immediately responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to take their first lead of the day at 4-2.

The Tigers pulled back even with the Gorillas in the top of the third when Regan Curry came up with a clutch 2-out, 2-RBI single up the middle with the bases loaded. But, the Gorillas once again surged into the lead with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.

The Tigers had a prime opportunity to score multiple runs in the fifth, but came away with only one on a sacrifice fly by Betsy Parmley. The Gorillas got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning and led 8-5 going to the sixth.

The Tigers needed a rally in the seventh and Loren Beggs sparked it with a single to leadoff the inning. She moved up on a wild pitch and then scored on a Sara Breckbill double to cut the lead to two. Still with no outs, Pierce singled and Curry walked to load the bases. Parmley had a patient at bat to draw a walk and force another run in, making it 8-7. After a fly ball wasn’t quite deep enough to push the tying run across, the Tigers scored the tying run when Kiana Blake put the ball in play and the Gorilla first baseman made an error. Then Jessica Espinoza pushed the Tigers in front with a sacrifice to score Curry, putting the Tigers back on top 9-8.

Egger got all three Gorilla outs in the seventh by fly out. After she picked up the first out, she allowed a walk to Taylor Lambert who already had two home runs in the game. Lambert reached second with two outs on a stolen base, but Paxtyn Hayes’ flyout to center field ended the game. Egger grabbed her third save of the year by closing the door on the Gorilla offense, which had 13 hits in the game.

The save preserved a win in relief for Morgan Schmidt, who improved to 5-3 on the season. Schmidt relieved Bailey Carlson who went 2.2 innings in her start. Schmidt pitched 3.1 innings and allowed one run, while scattering seven hits with two walks. She struck out two. Carlson allowed the first six hits to PSU and walked two, while striking out one.

Madison Morris took the loss in relief for Pittsburg State. She could not record an out and the tying and winning runs were her responsibility. Hannah Harrison allowed the first five runs to the Tigers (two earned) in 5.0 innings of work. Taylor Compton relieved for 2.0 innings and gave up the first two runs to the Tigers in the seventh.

Beggs, Breckbill, Pierce, and Reese Curry all had two hits in the game to lead the Tigers. Pierce, Parmley, and Regan Curry all had two RBIs. The Gorillas produced five of their eight runs on three home runs, the two by Lambert and one by Keelah Griffith.

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