In the first two of 10 straight home games, the Fort Hays State University softball team earned a doubleheader split Friday against Northeastern State (Okla.) University at Tiger Stadium.
FHSU dropped the first MIAA game, 5-4 in extra innings before winning the nightcap, 13-4, in a game called in the sixth due to the mercy rule.
The split puts FHSU at 16-13 overall and 9-5 in MIAA play. The Tigers posted 30 hits through the two games.
In Game 1, the Tigers rallied with three runs in the seventh inning to force the extra inning, but allowed a solo home run to Northeastern in the top of the eighth, which ended up being the game-winner. Paxton Duran (8-6) had her four-game win streak snapped in the circle. She threw all eight innings with four strikeouts. She gave up five runs on nine hits.
Riley Krier led the way for the Tigers, going 3-for-4, while Kylie Strand had two hits and an RBI.
In the nightcap, FHSU had 20 hits, including five for extra bases. Kelsey Kimminau took the win to move to 7-6. She threw six innings, giving up 10 hits with seven strikeouts. She gave up four runs in the first two innings. Strand collected four hits for FHSU, while Amanda Vaupel, Mackenzie Villarreal and Krier all finished 3-for-4. Vaupel had a three-run home run and Elmore, Tori Beltz and Villarreal added doubles.
FHSU is back in MIAA home action Saturday in a noon start against University of Central Oklahoma at Tiger Stadium.
Northeastern 5, Fort Hays 4 (8 inn.)
Northeastern State (13-16, 5-6) 000 004 01 — 5 9 2
Fort Hays (15-13, 8-5) 000 010 30 — 4 10 0
Wooldridge and Eales; Duran and Elmore. W — Wooldridge (7-6), L — Duran (8-6). 2B — Eales, Aguilar, Martin, Northeastern; Strand, FHSU. HR — Gann, Northeastern.
Fort Hays 13, Northeastern 4 (6 inn.)
Northeastern State (13-17, 5-7) 310 000 — 4 10 1
Fort Hays (16-13, 9-5) 400 504 — 13 20 1
Fieck, Crow (3), Files (5) and Eales; Kimminau and Elmore. W — Kimminau (7-6). L — Crow (1-3). 2B — Elmore, Beltz, Villareal, Knittig, FHSU. HR — Aguilar, Northeastern; Vaupel, FHSU.
Nick McQueen is the sports editor and a copy editor at the HDN. Follow him on Twitter, @HDNmcqueen