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Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
Tigers more focused on opponents, not rankings

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Tigers more focused on opponents, not rankings

Published on -4/18/2013, 10:12 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Last weekend, second-year Fort Hays State University softball coach Erin Kinberger was upset after her team went 2-2 against Missouri Southern State University and Pittsburg State University, two .500 teams. Among other things, Kinberger and junior third baseman Danie Brinkmann were displeased the Tigers had focused too much on rankings.

"Focusing on what some other teams are doing in the conference instead of focusing on the game at hand. Like one game at a time. A 'W' against Pitt is just as good as a 'W' against (top 25) Missouri Western," Brinkmann said. "It's no extra weight unfortunately."

On Wednesday, the Tigers dropped four spots to No. 18 in NCAA Division II. However, the first release of the more important poll, the Central regional rankings, had FHSU No. 1. The top two squads in each region host four-team pods. The Tigers stand at 35-7 overall, 32-4 in in-region games.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University ranks second at 36-7, 35-7 in region, while Minnesota State-Mankato is third and University of Central Oklahoma stands fourth. One of the reasons for FHSU's top ranking is a 7-0 mark against teams in the top 10 in the regional rankings.

One more victory will set the school record for wins. The Tigers finished 35-20 in 2003.

"A lot of athletes will show up and be afraid to make a mistake," Kinberger said. "We practice day in and day out to take risks, to put it all on the line and let the chips fall where they fall. We are not doing that right now. We are not coming out here and putting everything on the line. We are hesitant."

In conference play, FHSU is 15-3, two games back of UCO. The Tigers' three conference losses have come against Northeastern State (Okla.) University, in fifth place, and Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State. The Lions are 11th in the league and PSU is ninth.

Fort Hays has four MIAA doubleheaders left before the postseason, all against teams in the mid to lower tier. On Friday, the Tigers travel to University of Central Missouri (20-18, 10-10 MIAA). On Saturday, Fort Hays plays at Southwest Baptist (Mo.) University (4-38, 0-18 MIAA). Game time is 3 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.

"We just need to focus more in the moment," Brinkmann said.

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