Softballs wins 3 of 4 during weekend

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

Fort Hays State Softball won a pitcher’s duel in game two to gain a split with Missouri Western on Sunday (Apr. 18) at Tiger Stadium. After falling in the first game 9-0, Hailey Chapman tossed a complete game shutout in game two as the Tigers clipped the Griffons 1-0. With the win the Tigers keep pace with the upper third of the MIAA standings, just two games back of first place in the loss column. FHSU is now 18-16 overall, 12-6 in the MIAA, while MWSU moved to 24-12 overall, 13-5 in the MIAA.

Game 1: Missouri Western 9, Fort Hays State 0
The first game of the doubleheader slipped away fast as a grand slam by the Griffons in the third inning pushed a 2-0 lead to 6-0. The Griffons picked up their first two runs in the second inning and one was unearned, then loaded the bases in the third and Brea Blanton hit the home run to blow the game open. MWSU tacked on two more runs in the fourth and then one in the fifth, bringing the 5-inning run rule into play.

Lily Sale, Jessica Espinoza, and Sarah Tiffany generated Fort Hays State’s three hits in the contest. Sydney Rader picked up the shutout for the Griffons in the pitching circle, striking out four Tigers.

Michaelanne Nelson took the loss, allowing five earned runs. Megan Jamison relieved for the final 3.0 innings and allowed one earned run. Jamison struck out a season-high five batters in her relief effort.

Game 2: Fort Hays State 1, Missouri Western 0
Hailey Chapman spun a gem in game two for the Tigers, outdueling Kaili Hinds in a game that saw just five hits total, two by the Tigers and three by the Griffons. She was perfect through the first 10 batters of the game and worked out of danger in the fourth and fifth innings to hold the Griffons scoreless.

The Tigers had the first strong scoring threat with runners at first and second with one out in the second, but unfortunately grounders right at the third baseman set up easy force plays at third base twice in a row.

After retiring the first batter of the fourth inning, Chapman ran into danger in the fourth when the Griffons loaded the bases with a walk, double, and hit-by-pitch. Blanton, who hit the grand slam in game one, popped up on the infield for the second out, then Chapman got a flyout to leave the bases loaded. The Griffons had a runner reach third with two outs in the fifth, but a ground out to first base ended the threat.

From that point, Chapman was rock solid only allowing a two-out single in the sixth. She finally got the help she needed from the Tiger offense in the bottom of the sixth. Katie Adler worked a strong at bat and flared a ball into left field for a single to open the inning. Lily Sale then walked and Grace Philop put down. Missouri Western elected to try to cut down Adler at third base, but she beat the throw, loading the bases for the Tigers. Sara Breckbill then drove home the game’s only run with a sacrifice flyout to right field, plating Adler.

In the seventh, Chapman got a ground out and then mowed down the last two batters with strikeouts to complete the shutout. She struck out three and walked only one, moving to 9-7 on the year. Hinds gave up two hits and three walks, while striking out four during her six innings in the circle. Hinds moved to 11-4 on the season.

Fort Hays State looks to continue its strong play at home next week when it hosts Rogers State and Northeastern State on Friday and Saturday

Saturday

Fort Hays State Softball improved to 18-16 overall and 11-5 in the MIAA with a doubleheader sweep of Northwest Missouri State on Saturday (Apr. 17) at Tiger Stadium. The Bearcats slipped to 13-17 overall and 7-11 in the MIAA. FHSU held on for a 3-2 win in game one, then took game two with a walk-off 2-RBI single by Betsy Parmley that flipped a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win.

Game 1: Fort Hays State 3, Northwest Missouri State 2
Fort Hays State took an early 2-0 lead in the opener when Loren Beggs drove a ball high into the air in right field. A bit of a breeze carried the ball over a scrambling fielder that resulted in a two-run triple.

The Bearcats leveled the score in the third inning with three straight hits to open the inning. A double, triple, then single instantly made the score 2-2, but Tiger pitcher Michaelanne Nelson stopped any further rally from the Bearcats with a pair of strikeouts to end the threat.

The Tigers grabbed the lead right back in the bottom of the third when Jessica Espinoza drove home the decisive run of the game with a single up the middle.

Nelson shut the Bearcats down the rest of the way, never allowing a runner further than first base the remainder of the game. She finished with eight strikeouts in another complete game effort, allowing seven hits with a walk. Breck Dickey also pitched a complete game for the Bearcats, allowing seven hits and four walks. She struck out two.

Game 2: Fort Hays State 5, Northwest Missouri State 4
The Tigers had to surge twice in game two to eventually get past the Bearcats with just one out remaining. Northwest Missouri State led twice in the game, only to see the Tigers load the bases in the seventh and win on a walk-off 2-RBI single by Betsy Parmley.

The Bearcats scored the first three runs of the game, plating one in the third and two in the fourth. Bearcat starting pitcher Raven Defrain helped her own cause with an RBI single in the third, then Jacee Winn drove home a run in the fourth. The Bearcats picked up an extra run on a throwing error by the Tigers.

The Tigers finally mounted a rally against Defrain in the fourth as Loren Beggs and Jessica Espinoza both singled. They moved up a base on a passed ball, then Kristen Reed drove home the first Tiger run on a sacrifice fly. Elise Capra came through with a pinch-hit RBI single, then Sarah Tiffany completed the rally with an RBI double to the right-center gap. The Tigers and Bearcats were deadlocked at 3-3.

Northwest Missouri State jumped back in front in the sixth on a 2-out RBI single by Olivia Daugherty, but the Tigers had one more push left in them in the bottom of the seventh.

Lily Sale started the final Tiger rally with a walk. Grace Philop moved her up a base on a sacrifice bunt. Sara Breckbill walked and a chopper by Loren Beggs found its way through the left side to load the bases. The Bearcats picked up the second out by cutting down the potential tying run at the plate on an infield grounder. However, Parmley entered the game as a pinch hitter and made the most of her opportunity by winning the game on a flare to right field that fell out of the reach of Daugherty trying to make a diving catch.

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