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Wildcats prep for Jayhawks -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

KSU beats Purdue in Maui, No. 3 Arizona next -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Tigers earn all-region honors -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Berry out with possible cancer -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

No. 11 Kansas returns to form in 87-60 win -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

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Romo rallies Cowboys past Giants for 31-28 win -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

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Wichita State routs Newman, now 3-0 -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

TCU closing in on program's first Big 12 title -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

KSU's Weber has strong ties with Purdue, Painter -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers' Page wins at UNK Open -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

FHSU soccer falls in quarterfinals -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers move on to Elite Eight -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tiger men pick up second win -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tigers search for new coaches -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Phillipsburg drops a heartbreaker to end season -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

KVA all-state volleyball teams -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Tiger women roll to second straight win -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Knights claim state title -11/22/2014, 10:46 AM

Tigers' Paraguay soccer connection -11/21/2014, 10:56 AM

One last go for Knights' seniors -11/21/2014, 5:00 PM

Phillipsburg one step away -11/21/2014, 10:47 AM

McPherson standout signs with FHSU -11/20/2014, 2:35 PM

Wildcats look to bounce back at Morgantown -11/20/2014, 10:29 AM

Tiger women roll to record win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

FHSU men pick up first win -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Cavs fumble chance to beat Spurs -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

A's officially sign Butler -11/20/2014, 10:20 AM

Two Tigers named to MIAA vb team -11/19/2014, 11:13 AM

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

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myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
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Looking back on a historic Tiger season

Published on -5/15/2013, 10:17 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Last weekend, the four softball teams in the NCAA Division II Central Regional at Fort Hays State University's Tiger Stadium were required to fill out a form that listed the players and coaches. When each team lost twice, the players and coaches each received an individual award for reaching the tournament.

However, at the end of the form, each coach had a space where they could list who would receive the team award. One coach listed himself, another listed the seniors. Another coach listed the two star players. FHSU second-year coach Erin Kinberger wrote "Team."

On Sunday afternoon, the entire squad accepted the team honor after Fort Hays finished 47-12, including 2-2 in the NCAA tournament with two losses to eventual champion University of Central Oklahoma. It's easily the greatest season in school history and produced the first two NCAA tournament victories in school annals. Maddie Holub, the first player to be named both MIAA Pitcher and Player of the Year in the same season, was the Tigers' lone senior. On Monday, she also earned Daktronics Central Region Pitcher of the Year.

The rest of the team was strong, too. Every fielding position, save right field, had a starter who received at least one all-conference honor in her career. Sophomore center fielder Amanda Vaupel finished as a second team all-region selection. Every player except Holub will return. Holub wants to get into coaching and will stay on next year and help the Tigers.

"Maddie and our upperclassmen have done such a great job of guiding these younger players to understand what it takes to get here," Kinberger said. "Clearly, they can see for themselves what it's going to take to get here and beyond for next year. So, I am very excited. I am very optimistic. I am always optimistic. I think that I will take any one of those kids, any day, anywhere we go."

On Saturday, Minot State coach Bill Triplett believed the Tigers could win the national championship.

"I just told them that they have got a great team and to continue on and to win this tournament," he said. "They have got what it takes to win it all, not just this tournament or the next one. They are tough at every position, they have got good team speed, they bunt, they run, they throw, they have got pitching, it's a complete team."

Even the backups played key roles, including junior Katlyn Kern in the season-ending 7-1 loss to University of Central Oklahoma. Kern made one relief appearance all season, but relieved Holub with one out in the first inning. Kern worked three innings and allowed two runs, both, earned, on five hits and kept the game close.

"I am very proud of Katlyn Kern," Kinberger said. "I respect her heart. She just dedicates herself to us day in and day out. She busts her tail in the outfield, she busts her tail in the cage. My gut screamed her name after Maddie, because Maddie and Paxton both throw hard and they both throw very similar pitches, curveballs, screwballs, rise balls. I just felt like Katlyn would rattle that cage a little bit with a slower pace and some movement."

Freshman Paxton Duran worked the final 2.2 innings and allowed one unearned run. Duran, likely next season's ace, finished 15-7 with a 3.09 earned-run average in 30 appearances with 13 complete games and five shutouts. She recorded a 107/52 strikeout to walk rate in 149.2 innings.

"I am very excited for (Holub) handing the ball off to Paxton and watching Paxton throw as a pitcher," Kinberger said. "Along with Jordan Jones and Katlyn Kern and whoever else we decide to bring in as part of this staff."

Those numbers were pretty similar to Holub, who went 14-10 with a 3.56 ERA in 24 appearances with 20 complete games and one shutout as a freshman. She finished with a 173/68 strikeout to walk rate in 145.1 innings. Holub, who went 29-4 with a 1.03 ERA and hit .426 this spring, eventually set more than 20 school records and several conference records including perfect games and no-hitters in a season.

"What I am going to take a lot from is the mental side," Duran said of Holub. "She is very confident and composed all the time and that is one thing that I really need to work on. That's what I took a lot from is how she presents herself when something is going amazing, when she is throwing a perfect game or people are hitting her, she is the exact same person all the time."

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