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Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

Tigers look for better pitching in 2015 -2/12/2015, 10:14 AM

Shox roll to win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Kansas State rally again falls short at W. Virginia -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

FHSU wrestling rolls to dual win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

2015 Eight-Man All-Star rosters -2/11/2015, 11:54 AM

Indiana State backcourt thrives with new characters -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Scott City rolls over TMP -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Jayhawks cruise past Texas Tech -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Kansas State braces for Mountaineers' full-court press -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Salina Central outlasts Hays High -2/11/2015, 10:24 AM

Tigers' Lehman earns seventh MIAA honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

FHSU's Samac earns MIAA men's honor -2/9/2015, 1:56 PM

KBCA rankings, Feb. 9 -2/9/2015, 1:47 PM

Big day for Plainville grad Dani Winters -2/9/2015, 11:24 AM

Cowboys' Forte plays through flu -2/9/2015, 10:17 AM

At KU, Smith played on scout team -2/9/2015, 10:16 AM

North Carolina coaching icon Dean Smith dies at 83 -2/8/2015, 5:19 PM

Wichita State easily beats weakened Missouri State -2/8/2015, 4:52 PM

FHSU men hold off Hornets -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

TMP's Rhoades third in Phillipsburg -2/8/2015, 8:58 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

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

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
FHSU on top of its game

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FHSU on top of its game

Published on -5/9/2013, 1:45 PM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

The Fort Hays State University softball team has followed a mantra all season. Under second-year coach Erin Kinberger, the Tigers constantly have prepared every day, including a customary intense practice Tuesday afternoon. She continually asked for improvement and focus on details.

Kinberger hit the first ground ball of infield practice to junior third baseman Danie Brinkmann, a two-time all-MIAA player. Brinkmann caught the ball down the line, but was off balance.

Kinberger halted the drill, showed and told Brinkmann how to field the ball correctly. When freshman first baseman Tori Beltz made a diving stop, Kinberger yelled out a compliment. At one point, Kinberger dove in the dirt to show correct form for another Tiger.

"She has definitely instilled a winning mentality in all of us," sophomore center fielder Amanda Vaupel said.

When junior Jordan Jones, the team's No. 3 pitcher, struggled with setting her feet after taking grounders, Kinberger and Jones continued to work by themselves after the rest of infield practice finished.

The perpetual preparation and Kinberger's enthusiasm has produced virtually every game for the Tigers, 45-10 overall and ranked No. 10 in NCAA Division II, the highest ranking in school history.

"We are making sure that we are as prepared as we can be," freshman pitcher/designated hitter Paxton Duran said. "Seeing how it rolls from there, and it's been pretty good. That's what we have been working on. Making sure that we are really prepared and hoping to get those 'Ws.' "

This weekend, Fort Hays, the Central Region's overall No. 1 seed, plays host to a four-team pod in the NCAA Tournament. FHSU will play No. 8 Emporia State University (38-18) at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium. No. 4 University of Central Oklahoma (42-11) faces No. 5 Minot State (40-9) at 3 p.m. Friday in the double-elimination bracket.

The winner advances to the Super Regionals, or Sweet 16, next weekend. If FHSU wins this weekend, it would host again.

It's the second NCAA appearance in Fort Hays softball history, first since 2003. This spring also is the first time since the 2003 Tiger baseball team FHSU has earned the right as a regional host in any sport. Last weekend, the Tigers won the MIAA softball conference tournament for the first time in school history and then vaulted five spots in this week's national poll.

"These girls really enjoy being first," Kinberger said. "They kind of set their eye on that, and you will hear them talk about it. Be like, 'We want to be the first team to do this, we want to be the first team to do that.'

"They want to make history, and that's something that we praise them for," she added. "I think being the first to host a region here is huge for them. I also think that it will be great with our fans here to get real loud, and just to support these kids, because God knows they want it more than anybody else does."

FHSU has brought in extra bleachers. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for kids from kindergarten to a senior in college. The Tigers, who have never won an NCAA softball tournament game in school history, went 13-3 at home this spring.

"Home field advantage is always a good thing," pitcher/outfielder Maddie Holub, the team's lone senior, said. "When we have our own crowd out there, it's obviously going to fuel a lot of fire. Hopefully it gives us a lot of advantage going into the regional tournament. That's a huge bonus for us. We are really excited about it."

Emporia State has reached the NCAA tournament 10 straight years, tied for the fifth-longest streak nationally. The Hornets are 31-21 all-time in NCAA play, including national runner-up appearances in 2006 and '08.

Last year, ESU finished 20-0 in MIAA play and advanced to the NCAA tournament in the first year of the Julie LeMaire era. LeMaire was the coach at FHSU from 2009-11 before she took over the Hornets, and Kinberger, then the assistant, became Fort Hays' head coach.

"We separate the emotion when it comes to the game," Kinberger said. "She is just like any other coach that we face, or any other team that we face. There is no added incentive. There is no drama behind it. We just go out there and play Fort Hays softball, and it doesn't matter who is front of us."

Fort Hays is 3-1 against Emporia this spring with a pair of road wins, 7-1 and 6-3, on March 15. In the MIAA tournament last Sunday, FHSU lost to Emporia State 1-0 in the first championship game and then defeated the Hornets 7-4 in the second title game in the double-elimination tournament. Then the NCAA released the bracket Monday morning.

"We have to go in there and act like we have never seen them before," Vaupel said. "Because when we go in knowing a team, then we put pressure on ourselves."

Fort Hays and Emporia feature two of the nation's top pitchers in Holub and ESU right-hander Karley Schmelzer.

Holub is 27-2 with a 0.77 earned-run average and collected MIAA Player of and Pitcher of the Year honors after she also hit .436 with 18 homers and 52 RBIs. Schmelzer is a three-time all-MIAA selection who went 31-9 with a 1.72 ERA. She led the nation in victories and set a school record.

Schmelzer graduated from Class 3A Garden Plain, while Holub went to 3A Thomas More Prep-Marian. The good friends were first team all-state selections in high school, played high school summer ball together and have enjoyed brilliant four-year collegiate careers.

"It's fun to go out and compete against each her," Holub said.

Emporia State also has senior catcher Amanda Self, the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year, sophomore shortstop Taylor Zordel (team-high .395 batting average) and junior utility player Tricia Vogel. All three players were first team all-MIAA selections.

Holub was the Tigers' lone first team selection and Vaupel made the second team, but five players made honorable mention as Fort Hays saw a 14-win improvement from last season and easily broke the school record for wins (35). This week, the Tigers focused on continued preparation to set more history this weekend.

"Last year, we had a lot of girls that wanted to win," Vaupel said. "This year, every single girl wants to win every single game, and our passion for the game is just so strong. We are all talking about trying to study for finals, and all we want to think about is playing regionals this weekend."

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