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HHS girls fall, will play for 7th -1/30/2015, 5:29 PM

Tiger baseball picked 11th in MIAA -1/30/2015, 1:58 PM

TMP picks up dual win at Plainville -1/30/2015, 10:31 AM

Olathe South too much for Hays High -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Hoxie girls chase record -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

KSU prepares for Allen Fieldhouse -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Wichita State will appeal ruling that takes away baseball wins -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Nino Williams unlikely to play for Wildcats -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Tiger softball picked fifth in MIAA -1/29/2015, 11:27 AM

Tiger women win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:29 AM

FHSU men pick up needed win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:30 AM

No. 12 Wichita State survives Loyola's challenge -1/29/2015, 10:23 AM

KU wins ugly game -1/29/2015, 10:31 AM

Graham enjoying KU life -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Mountaineers take down Wildcats -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Belichick, Patriots focused solely on Seattle, Super Bowl -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

MVC strong at the top -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

Former Tiger, HHS coach named new FB coach at Mac -1/27/2015, 6:57 PM

Tiger women vault to No. 6 in poll -1/27/2015, 2:39 PM

James Shields remains a free agent, but Royals 'not sure there's a fit' -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Pats' owner defends Belichick, Brady -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Alexander newcomer of the week -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

KSU's Edwards finding success as the sixth man -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wins Kansas Cup after scoring error -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wrestling takes second in Kansas Cup -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

WSU baseball starts second season under Butler -1/26/2015, 10:36 AM

No. 14 WSU hammers Drake -1/26/2015, 10:37 AM

Stafford named Offensive MVP in first Pro Bowl -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

TMP boys, girls claim MCL title; HHS boys fall -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 PM

TMP girls use overtime for semifinal win -1/24/2015, 3:13 PM

Young key in Indians' semifinal win -1/24/2015, 1:22 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys to MCL title game -1/24/2015, 12:27 PM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Olsen delivers strong start for Tigers

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Olsen delivers strong start for Tigers

Published on -3/27/2014, 10:07 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University senior shortstop Kellsi Olsen delivered similar numbers in her first two seasons after she transferred from Glendale (Ariz.) Community College.

In 2012, Olsen started all 50 games and hit .230/310/331 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) with three homers and 13 RBIs. She struck out 32 times with 13 walks.

Last year, Olsen started all 59 contests and batted 238/270/397 with four homers and 14 RBIs. She struck out 38 times with five walks. Coupled with a solid defensive season, Olsen earned all-MIAA honorable mention honors.

Last summer, Olsen, a Wickenburg, Ariz., native, went back home. Olsen hit off a batting tee every day, and focused on staying through the ball and hitting it hard. The offseason work has translated into a strong first half of the 2014 season.

"I have gotten more confident this year than what I was last year," she said.

Olsen, batting No. 9 for the second straight spring, carries a 314/430/500 line with 17 strikeouts against 12 walks. She and sophomore second baseman Courtney Dobson (team-high .370 average) have the biggest improvements of the eight returning starters.

"Kellsi is one of our biggest leaders," sophomore ace right-hander Paxton Duran said. "She is our senior, she wants to get the job done. ... You want the best for her. I am so glad that she is finally putting her swing together and making the attack and just doing great at the plate."

On Tuesday, Olsen delivered a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh in a 2-0 Game 1 victory against Metropolitan State College of Denver at Tiger Stadium. It was Olsen's first game-winning homer since a 7-5 home win against Pittsburg State University on April 21, 2012.

"For Kellsi, she has got a little bit of confidence, and she is riding it and that confidence is leading into success, and that just continues to build and mount and the next thing you know, she is having a lot of success," Tiger coach Erin Kinberger said.

Fort Hays (19-12) was supposed to play a home doubleheader Wednesday against Colorado Christian, but it was cancelled because of high winds.

This weekend, the Tigers, receiving votes in the NCAA Division II poll, will play host to Lincoln (Mo.) University and Lindenwood (Mo.) University in doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.

Start time is 11 a.m. both days.

Fort Hays has matched its losses from last year's school record 47-12 season that yielded a second place finish in the MIAA, a conference tournament championship and hosting a NCAA regional.

This spring, FHSU remains in the mix for a league crown, but have dropped some home games and contests against sub-.500 teams.  

Lincoln is 3-20, 0-10 MIAA, while Lindenwood is 8-11, 3-3 MIAA. Fort Hays is tied for fourth at 8-4 in league play, but has played each of the other teams currently in the top six.

Against Metro State, FHSU finished 1 of 9 with runners in scoring position in Game 1. In the second contest, senior left fielder Bianca Adame led off the first inning with a triple but didn't score. Fort Hays was 1 of 10 in the second contest with runners in scoring position.

"Obviously, they lost their pitcher," Metro State coach Annie Van Wetzinga said of Fort Hays' All-American pitcher Maddie Holub. "That makes a big difference. I know they had a really good season last year, and I think, just watching today, it's probably -- they can't get over the hump getting that key hit. Once you lose kind of what was probably the heart of their team, a big part of the team, it's kind of tough to get over that."

In Game 1, Fort Hays struggled offensively against a Roadrunner pitching staff that had no starter with an earned-run average under 3.41.

In the seventh inning, junior center fielder Amanda Vaupel led off with a single and freshman third baseman Kylie Strand bunted her to second. On a 1-0 pitch, Olsen homered to left field off Metro State starter Aubree Maul.

"It was left a little bit too much over the plate, but again, the kid got a good bat on it, turned on it and drove it over the fence," Van Wetzinga said.

"That's her taking advantage of opportunities."

In the second contest, Olsen finished 1 of 3. Since Feb. 23, a stretch of 20 games, Olsen has raised her average 106 points.

"I just had to find it within myself and just working over the summer all the time just helped out," she said.

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