Softball swept by Lions, Gorillas

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State, ranked No. 11 nationally in the latest NFCA Division II rankings, defeated Fort Hays State twice on its home field Saturday (March 30) by scores of 8-0 and 4-1. The Gorillas improved to 36-4 overall on the season, 10-2 in the MIAA, while the Tigers moved back to level overall at 16-16 and 2-8 in the MIAA. The Gorillas snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Tigers with the pair of wins.

Pittsburg State 8, Fort Hays State 0 (6 inn.)
Fort Hays State’s Savanah Egger and Pittsburg State’s Ava Laurent were engaged in a pitcher’s duel through five innings until the very potent Gorilla offense opened up the game in the sixth with a seven-run outburst to end the game instantly by run rule.

Egger retired the first eight Gorillas she faced in the game before allowing their first hit with two outs in the third. That was the only hit for PSU through the first four innings. Amaya Snyder broke the seal on a scoreless game in the fifth with a solo home run for the Gorillas as they took a 1-0 lead to the sixth.

A quick comebacker single by Heather Arnett that Egger could not quite field fast enough in the sixth started a big rally for the Gorillas. Another single put two runners on and then Paxton Hayes doubled home both runners to make it 3-0. A walk and another hit loaded the bases with no outs. Egger got a strikeout before yielding one more hit that plated two more runs, making it 5-0. Bailey Carlson relieved for the remainder of the game, surrendering an RBI single and then a two-RBI double with two outs that brought the game to the run-rule margin in the blink of an eye.

The Tigers scratched out just two hits against Laurent, one by Carly Stuke and the other by Loren Beggs. Stuke’s was a two-out double in the first and Beggs’ was a one-out single in the fourth. Laurent retired the final eight Tigers she faced in the game, moving to 12-1 on the season. Egger struck out three batters and moved to 9-7 overall on the season.

Pittsburg State 4, Fort Hays State 1
Fort Hays State took the initial lead with their only run of the day in the first inning, thanks to three-straight singles to open the game. Peyton Shepard had a bunt single, Alondra Dominguez followed with a well-place single in the hole between shortstop and third, and Carly Stuke capped the early ambush with an RBI single to right field.

The Gorillas evened the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first when a one-out walk led to an RBI single by Maddie Fernandez. PSU took the lead in the third when Fernandez struck again with a solo home run. A two-out RBI single by Heather Arnett in the fourth made it 3-1, then PSU capped its scoring on a solo home run by Paxton Hayes in the fifth. Pittsburg State finished with 11 hits in the game.

It took until the seventh inning for the Tigers to have another runner in scoring position after the three straight hits to start the game, but a flyout and a fielder’s choice with two runners on in the seventh ended the game.

Morgan Schmidt threw a complete game for the Tigers and had two strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. Peyton Shepard and Madison Pierce each had two hits in the game.

Kiana Pogroszewski picked up the win for the Gorillas, going 6.0 innings in her start with one strikeout. She scattered five hits. Chelsea Beville threw an inning of relief with a strikeout and two hits allowed, earning the save.

Fort Hays State will play its next eight games at home with two straight weekends of conference doubleheaders at Fleharty Family Field in Hays. Next week, FHSU faces Emporia State and Washburn.

Friday

JOPLIN, Mo. – Fort Hays State fell in both games of an MIAA doubleheader at Missouri Southern on Friday (March 29). After the Lions won game one 5-2, the Tigers rallied late to tie game two 3-3, only to see the Lions win in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the seventh. The Tigers moved to 16-14 overall, 2-6 in the MIAA, while the Lions moved to 27-10 overall, 7-3 in the MIAA.

Game 1: Missouri Southern 5, Fort Hays State 2
The Lions methodically worked their way to three-run victory in the first contest of the day. MSSU initially took the lead with a run in the first, but the Tigers got the run back in the top of the second to tie the game. From that point, the Lions worked their way to a 5-1 lead with a run in their half of the second, a pair in the third, and one more in the fifth. The Tigers scored their final run on a two-out RBI single in the seventh.

Loren Beggs set up the first Tiger run in the second with a single to leadoff the inning. She moved to second and third on a pair of groundouts, then scored on a wild pitch. Lilliana Ramirez-Johnson drew a walk to leadoff the seventh. Adysen Burghart pinch ran and eventually came in to score on a Regan Curry RBI single. Peyton Shepard led the Tigers with two of the team’s five hits in the game.

Savanah Egger threw a complete game, surrendering eight hits and four walks over 6.0 innings. She struck out five and four of her five runs allowed were earned. Egger is now 9-6 on the season.

Kiki Pickens threw a complete game for the Lions, recording six strikeouts with just five hits and two walks allowed. She moved to 8-5 on the season. MSSU had four RBIs in the game all from different players.

Game 2: Missouri Southern 4, Fort Hays State 3
Fort Hays State took the initial lead in game two with a run in the second inning. However, the Lions immediately evened the score with a run in the bottom half of the inning and then took the lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth inning. FHSU pulled back even with MSSU with a two-run rally in the sixth. The Tigers missed out on a golden opportunity with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, then saw the Lions benefit from an error to open the bottom half of the inning and win on a walk-off single.

Loren Beggs walk to open the second eventually led to an Alondra Dominguez RBI single to put the Tigers on top early. The Lions evened the score with a two-out RBI single in the second then took the lead on a solo home run to leadoff the fourth. Another two-out RBI single made it 3-1 Lions through five innings.

Carly Stuke opened the sixth with a triple and Lilliana Ramirez-Johnson followed with a sacrifice fly RBI. Dominguez kept the Tigers alive in the inning with a single and Madison Pierce followed with a clutch RBI double to tie the game. An Audrey Gillespie single and Sarah Tiffany double gave the Tigers runners at second and third with one out in the seventh and Stuke followed with a walk to load the bases. However, a ground ball fielder’s choice to cut down the lead runner and a strikeout ended the Tiger threat.

A dropped fly ball to open the seventh put a runner immediately in scoring position for the Lions and they capitalized with an RBI single to end the game.

Kiki Pickens picked up her second win of the day, getting the Lions out of the jam in the top of the seventh in 0.2 innings of work. Morgan Schmidt threw a complete game for the Tigers and took the loss, allowing 10 hits over 6.0 innings. She struck out five. Dominguez had a 3-for-3 game at the plate, leading a Tiger squad with seven hits in the game.

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