By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
Fort Hays State was just three outs away from a ninth-straight win, but Northwestern Oklahoma State rallied to force extra innings and snapped FHSU’s eight-game win streak in eight innings. The Rangers went on to win game two as well, spoiling the Tigers’ home-opening doubleheader on Monday (Mar. 6). NWOSU won by scores of 3-2 (8 inn.) and 6-2. FHSU is now 11-7 overall on the season.
Northwestern Oklahoma State 3, Fort Hays State 2 (8 inn.)
Savanah Egger continued her magic in the pitching circle for the first six innings of game one, running her scoreless innings streak to 32 in a row. The Tigers built a 2-0 lead for her to that point. However, she was rudely greeted in the seventh inning with a leadoff single and triple to snap the streak, then the Rangers plated the tying run to force extra innings.
NWOSU went on to get an unearned run on Egger in the eighth inning with the international tiebreaker format of placing a runner on second to start the inning. The Rangers found a way to get their runner home, while the Tigers were unable to do the same in the bottom half of the inning. Egger moved to 5-3 on the season with the tough loss.
FHSU built its lead with a Regan Curry RBI single in the fourth and a Madison Pierce RBI double in the fifth. Loren Beggs scored both of the Tiger runs.
Egger allowed just two hits over the first six innings until the NWOSU offense magically came to life in the seventh. Egger got a pop up to fight off NWOSU’s first game-tying chance in the seventh, but a line drive off the glove of Beggs at third base in fair territory found its way down the left field line for a double to tie the game.
FHSU had a chance to win the game in the seventh. Lilliana Ramirez-Johnson singled to open the inning and the right fielder booted the ball to give her an extra base. Adysen Burghart pinch ran and got to third on a wild pitch. However, the Tigers did not put the ball in play over the next two batters as reliever Ireland Caro recorded two strikeouts before getting a ground out to end the threat. Caro would go on to pick up her third win of the season.
NWOSU doubled home its go-ahead run in the eighth. The Tigers got their runner to third on a ground out to the right side, but then could not get the run in with a shallow fly out and a ground out over the final two at bats.
Northwestern Oklahoma State 6, Fort Hays State 2
Northwestern Oklahoma carried over its confidence from game one and managed to spoil the Tigers’ day with three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to build a 4-0 lead. The Tigers cut back into the lead with a pair of single runs in the fifth and sixth, but NWOSU strung together a two-out walk, single, and double to get the two runs back in the top of the seventh. FHSU loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning, but hit into a game-ending double play.
Sarah Tiffany had an RBI single in the fifth and Regan Currypicked up an RBI in the sixth on a fielder’s choice.
Bailey Carlson took the loss allowing three runs in 3.2 innings. She allowed five hits, a walk, and struck out three. Emma Montoya threw 3.1 innings of relief, allowing three hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Ireland Caro tossed a complete game against the Tigers in the second contest after holding them scoreless over the final two innings of the first contest. She scattered six hits and walked one, while recording only one strikeout.
The Tigers look to bounce back from the setbacks when they start MIAA play on Friday with Northwest Missouri State coming to Hays. The Tigers and Bearcats start their doubleheader on Friday (Mar. 10) at 1 p.m.