Softball splits with Hornets

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

Fort Hays State held on a for a 7-6 win in game one before falling in game two 8-0 to Emporia State on Saturday (Apr. 9) in Hays. The Tigers are now 17-22-1 overall and 3-9 in the MIAA, while the Hornets stayed level overall on the year at 20-20, now 9-7 in the MIAA.

Game 1: Fort Hays State 7, Emporia State 6
Emporia State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Savanah Egger tried to work through some command issues. She got a pair of strikeouts in the inning, but yielded two straight bases loaded walks with two outs. Adrian Pilkington opted to go to Morgan Schmidt in relief and the Hornets tacked on an RBI single, but Egger would be critical for a Tiger win later when Schmidt ran into some trouble late.

Schmidt would go on to hold the Hornets scoreless from Emporia State’s final out in the first to its final out of the sixth. Meanwhile, the Tigers orchestrated a comeback in the bottom of the second when their first run scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jessica Espinoza. Regan Curry scored the run on what was deemed catcher’s interference for not providing a viable path to the plate. Right after that, the floodgates burst open as Adysen Burghart hit a flare RBI single to right field and then a throwing error by the second baseman back across the diamond allowed Espinoza to score as well. Moments later, Madison Pierce doubled to left center to bring Burghart home, putting the Tigers up 4-3.

The Tigers tacked on single runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Pierce collected her second RBI of the game in the fifth on a sacrifice fly. Espinoza added her second RBI of the game in the fifth on a single. Regan Curry joined the RBI act in the sixth on a fielder’s choice.

Schmidt was tremendous in relief for the Tigers, throwing 5.1 innings. However, she finally started to run out of gas in the seventh when she allowed two walks and a home run to start the inning, instantly turning the contest into a one-run game at 7-6. After Schmidt allowed one more hit, Egger re-entered the game to pitch and shook off her early game struggles to get three straight flyouts to end the game.

Schmidt’s gritty relief effort netted her sixth win of the season, while Egger picked up her fourth save of the season. Schmidt struck out eight, while Egger finished with her two from the first inning to make 10 for the game between the pair. Sydney Righi took the loss for ESU, allowing six runs (four earned) on five hits and four walks. She struck out one in 4.1 innings of work. Harley Sturm pitched the final 1.2 innings for ESU and allowed one run on four hits and a walk.

Game 2: Emporia State 8, Fort Hays State 0
The Tigers struggled to get their offense going in the second contest against Gracie Rabe, who threw a complete game shutout for the Hornets. She allowed six hits and four walks, while striking out three.

The Hornets did most of their offensive damage with a rally in the second inning that ballooned quickly with two outs. Bailey Carlson had retired the first five of six batters for ESU without allowing a hit. She surrendered the first hit of the game with two outs, then a walk before Emma Furnish opened the scoring with a triple shaped perfectly into the left center gap to instantly make it 2-0 in favor of ESU. Carlson all the sudden could not find the third out of the inning as the Hornets picked up two more singles. Adrian Pilkington turned the ball over to Savanah Egger, who then hit a batter and allowed a two-RBI single. The Hornets picked up one more run on an error during a potential double steal play and took a 6-0 lead with them to the bottom of the second.

Egger locked down the Hornets for three innings, but the offense could not cash in potential run-scoring opportunities in the second, fourth, and fifth innings. The Hornets picked up single runs against Egger in the sixth and seventh innings to make the final margin eight. Morgan Schmidt picked up all three outs of the Hornet seventh. Carlson was charged with the first five runs of the game, while Egger allowed the final three (two earned). Carlson struck out one, Egger punched out three, and Schmidt fanned two.

The Tigers have a good opportunity in front of them to potentially rally back into the race for the MIAA Tournament. FHSU will play its next four conference doubleheaders against teams with sub-.500 records in conference play. That run of game starts with a doubleheader at Northwest Missouri State on Tuesday at 1 pm.

Friday

Fort Hays State fell twice to Washburn on Friday (Apr. 8) in an MIAA doubleheader at Tiger Stadium in Hays. The Ichabods did all of their damage in one inning of game one for a 4-0 win, then took the second contest 6-1. Washburn moved to 30-11 overall and 12-2 in the MIAA, while FHSU is now 16-21-1 overall and 2-8 in the MIAA.

Game 1: Washburn 4, Fort Hays State 0
Bailey Carlson matched Jaycee Ginter with zeros through the first three innings, but a pair of walks by the Ichabods to open the fourth inning eventually turned into a two-out, four run rally. Carlson got a big strikeout with the bases loaded and just one out, but fell behind next batter Jaden LaBarge, who ended the scoreless tie with a two-RBI single to center field on a 3-2 count. After another walk, Adrian Pilkington turned the ball over to Morgan Schmidt, but Marrit Mead laced another 2-RBI single to put the Ichabods up 4-0.

The Tigers got runners to second base in the third, fifth, and seventh innings, but could never break through on the scoreboard against Jaycee Ginter. FHSU had four hits with two coming from Sarah Tiffany. Ginter moved to 20-3 on the season with a complete-game shutout, finishing with eight strikeouts.

Carlson took a loss in 3.2 innings of work, allowing four runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Schmidt tossed the final 3.1 innings and allowed just one hit and one walk with five strikeouts.

Game 2: Washburn 6, Fort Hays State 1
Fort Hays State took an early lead, only to see Washburn burst ahead in the top of the third. The Ichabods went on to score in the fifth and seventh innings as well to secure a five-run victory and sweep of the doubleheader.

The Tigers’ lone run of the day came on a Madison Pierce solo home run to right-center field in the second inning. Savanah Egger shut the Ichabods out for the first two innings, but surrendered a pair of RBI singles and a sacrifice fly RBI in the third. The Ichabods would homer twice off Egger later in the game to account for three more runs.

Reese Curry went 2-for-2 at the plate in the second contest and drew a walk. Four other Tigers had one hit each.

Ashlie Thissen threw 5.0 innings for the win, allowing a run on five hits with two strikeouts. Raegen Hamm relieved for the final two innings in a non-save situation and allowed a hit and a walk, while striking out two.

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