By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
WARRENSBURG, Mo. – Central Missouri rallied past Fort Hays State twice on Tuesday (Apr. 13) on its home field. The Jennies won both games of an MIAA doubleheader by a score of 4-2. The Tigers plated two runs in the first inning of both contests, only to see their slim leads slip away twice to the MIAA’s top hitting team. UCM improved to 23-9 overall, 12-4 in the MIAA, while the Tigers moved to 16-16 overall, 9-5 in the MIAA.
Game 1: Central Missouri 4, Fort Hays State 2
Fort Hays State grabbed an early 2-0 lead and led all the way until the bottom of the sixth inning when Central Missouri slipped past with a three-run rally. Both teams finished with six hits in the game.
Loren Beggs put the Tigers on top 2-0 with a 2-out, 2-RBI double in the first inning. It plated both Lily Sale and Sara Breckbill, who reached with singles.
Central Missouri cut the lead in half in the second inning on a solo home run by Ashlyn Cook. Michaelanne Nelson was able to hold the Jennies at bay otherwise through five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth. The Jennies began a rally with a walk, a double, and then a hit batter to load the bases. Jessica Sader plated two runs with a single to give the Jennies the lead, then Abby Allnutt added another single to score the third run of the inning.
Paige Petefish shut the Tigers down in relief, allowing just one hit over the final three innings. She worked a 1-2-3 seventh to keep the Tigers from building any kind of rally in response. Nelson took the loss in her complete-game effort, striking out four. The Tigers scored their two runs off UCM starter Sadie Parks, who threw the first four innings and allowed five hits, but struck out five.
Game 2: Central Missouri 4, Fort Hays State 2
Just like in game one, Fort Hays State took a 2-0 lead after a half inning only to see Central Missouri tie the game in the fourth and then take the lead in the fifth. The Tigers had six hits again, but the Jennies produced one more in the second contest with seven.
Katie Adler led off the game with a double and eventually came in to score on a Sara Breckbill RBI single. Loren Beggs drew a walk and then Jessica Espinoza drove home Breckbill with the second RBI single of the inning. The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs and chased UCM starter Gentry Wishard from the game, but reliever Kyleigh Lay stopped the Tigers from adding on with a strikeout to end the inning.
Central Missouri scored its first run in the second inning, just like game one, this time on an RBI single. The Jennies pulled even with the Tigers in the fourth when Jessica Sader hit a solo home run. After allowing a single to start the bottom of the fifth, Tiger starter Hailey Chapman got two infield pop ups to record two outs. However, right after the pop ups, UCM’s Makenzie McAtee hit a two-run homer to put the Jennies in front with just two innings to go.
Lay made that lead stand up as she pitched the final 6.1 innings of the game to pick up a win. She allowed just three hits to the Tigers during her time in the circle and struck out six. Chapman threw a complete game for FHSU and struck out one.
The Tigers look to shake off the pair of tough losses as they remain in the thick of the race for the MIAA Tournament. They host Northwest Missouri State and Missouri Western in Hays on Saturday and Sunday (Apr. 17-18).