PITTSBURG — Fort Hays State softball dropped another pair of MIAA games on Friday, this time at Pittsburg State. The Gorillas held the Tigers off three times in Game 1 for a 7-4 win, then won game two with a 2-0 shutout. The Tigers are now 9-29 overall, 5-11 in the MIAA, while the Gorillas moved to 16-25 overall, 6-6 in the MIAA.
Game 1: Pittsburg State 7, Fort Hays State 5
Fort Hays State rallied to tie Game 1 three times, but a pair of home runs in the bottom of the sixth proved to be the difference in a 7-5 loss to Pittsburg State. Extra base hits produced all of Pittsburg State's runs in the game, which included three home runs and three doubles.
After the Gorillas hit a solo home run in the second, the Tigers manufactured a run in the top of the third to tie the game for the first time. Candace Bollig led off with a double down the right field line, Terran Caldwell sacrificed her over to third, and then Grace Philop produced an RBI single. However, the Gorillas took the lead right back in the bottom half of the third on a two-out RBI double.
Bailey Boxberger tied up the game for a second time, 2-2, with a solo home run with two outs in the fifth. But once again, the Gorillas answered immediately with a pair of two-out RBI doubles in the bottom half of the inning to take a 4-2 lead.
Fort Hays State loaded the bases in the sixth with one out and rallied for a pair of runs to tie the game for the third time. Bollig hit a sacrifice fly RBI and Terran Caldwell followed with an RBI infield single. The Gorillas were able to break the tie immediately once again.
To open the bottom of the sixth, Shelby Miller hit a solo home run to break the tie. That chased FHSU starting pitcher Hailey Chapman from the circle. Megan Jamison relieved to get the next three outs of the inning, but not before allowing a two-run homer to Kristan VanHoosan.
The Tigers worked the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning and Sarah Kay nearly placed a ball into the right field corner. However, the fielder tracked it down on the fly, making it just a sacrifice fly to make the score 7-5. With runners at first and third, the game ended on a groundout.
Hailey Chapman took the loss for FHSU in 5.0 innings pitched. She allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks, but struck out three. Jamison allowed her two runs on a hit and a walk.
Bree Cornett threw the first 5.1 innings for Pittsburg State, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks. She struck out two. Brooklynne Simbeck earned the win in 1.2 innings of relief after Pittsburg State broke the 4-4 tie in the bottom of the sixth. She allowed one run on two hits and three walks, while striking out one.
Game 2: Pittsburg State 2, Fort Hays State 0
After scoring four runs off Bree Cornett in Game 1 of the doubleheader, the Tigers could not solve her in Game 2. Cornett threw a complete game shutout with four strikeouts and one walk. Cornett pitched 12.1 innings of a possible 14 in the doubleheader.
The Tigers outhit the Gorillas 8-7 in the game, but the Gorillas came up with a pair of timely two-out hits for the difference in the run column. An RBI single in the second and RBI double in the third were the difference.
The Tigers had the bases loaded with two outs in the third inning, but came up empty on a fielder's choice grounder to end the inning. The Tigers had runners reach first and third with one out in the fourth, but a leaping catch on a liner at second base and then a flyout ended the threat. FHSU had its first two get aboard in the fifth, but a flyout, strikeout, and groundout kept the Tigers off the board once again.
Sierra Rodriguez went the distance in the pitching circle for FHSU, scattering seven hits. She struck out one and did not allow any walks.
Terran Caldwell and Candace Bollig accounted for five of Fort Hays State's eight hits in the game. Caldwell went 3-for-4 and Bollig went 2-for-4.
The Tigers head to Newman University for a doubleheader on Wednesday (Apr. 4) at 2 pm before returning home to take on Emporia State and Washburn in conference play on the weekend.