ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A four-run fifth inning by Augustana was too much for the Fort Hays State University softball team to overcome in a 4-3 loss Friday in the Kelly Laas Memorial Tournament. The Tigers scored a run in the seventh to get within one, but it was not enough as they moved to 2-11 on the season. Augustana moved to 5-4.
The Tigers took the lead early with a run in the bottom of the third on a Tess Gray RBI single. Candace Bollig drew a walk and eventually came in to score from second on Gray’s hit.
Hailey Chapman cruised through the first four innings, allowing just one hit, before running into trouble in the fifth. She allowed a double and single, then Sierra Rodriguez relieved her. Rodriguez could not stop the Vikings’ momentum as an infield single loaded the bases, then a single down the left-field line plated two runs. A double plated two more, and all of the sudden, Augustana led 4-1.
The Tigers answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Lily Sale led off the inning with a single and eventually came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Grace Philop. With one out, though, the Tigers could not push any more runs across, stranding runners at second and third.
The Tigers threatened to tie the game in their last at bat as Sale reached base to start the inning by error. She came in to score on a one-out RBI double by Bollig. However, a strikeout and groundout ended the game with the tying run in scoring position.
Chapman took the loss for FHSU since the first two runners to cross the plate in the fifth were her responsibility. She allowed three hits and struck out three. Rodriguez allowed five hits and struck out one in three innings of relief.
Lexy Pederson benefited from her team taking the lead in the top of the fifth before she handed the ball over to Amber Elliott to close out the last three innings. Pederson moved to 3-0, throwing 4 innings with six hits, a walk, and one strikeout. Elliott allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and four strikeouts to earn her first save of the year.
The Tigers played Saturday against the University of Sioux Falls.