A day after scoring just two runs in a doubleheader against Missouri Western, Fort Hays State had a 22-run outburst in a pair of wins over Northwest Missouri State on Sunday at Tiger Stadium. Fort Hays State took the first contest by run rule, 14-6, before hanging on for an 8-6 win in the second contest. FHSU is now 16-15 overall, 9-7 in the MIAA, while NWMSU dropped to 9-18 overall, 4-10 in the MIAA.
Game 1: Fort Hays State 14, Northwest Missouri State 6
The Tigers had two big scoring innings in the first contest, scoring six runs in the first and seven in the third to build a big lead. The Tigers fell down 2-0 after the top of the first, but a seven-hit first inning propelled the Tigers to a 6-2 lead after one inning.
Terran Caldwell led off with a double and then came in to score on a Grace Philop RBI single. Sara Breckbill kept the line moving with another single and then Bailey Boxberger had an RBI single of her own to tie the game. Allison Jurgensen recorded the fourth straight single for the Tigers up the middle, which plated two more runs and pushed the Tigers in front 4-2. Elise Capra made it five singles in a row before the streak ended on a Jeni Mohr sacrifice bunt. The sacrifice helped though as Lily Sale roped a two-RBI double to the right-center gap to push the lead to four runs.
Northwest Missouri trimmed the lead back to three with an unearned run in the top of the third, but the next Tiger outburst pushed the lead to a comfortable 13-3 in the bottom half of the inning. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out and then Caldwell produced a two-RBI single, making the score 8-3. Katie Adler joined the hit parade with an RBI single to make it 9-3. With two outs, Breckbill laced a two-RBI triple down the left-field line, just out of the reach of the Bearcat fielder, pushing the score to 11-3. Boxberger backed that up with an RBI double to the right-center gap and Jurgensen followed with another RBI single to cap the seven-run inning.
Two of three runs by the Bearcats in the fourth were unearned. The lone earned run was the doubleheader's only home run, hit by Karli Allen. Fort Hays State added a run back to its lead in the bottom half of the fourth on an RBI double by Caldwell.
Hailey Chapman earned a complete-game win, moving to 9-7 on the season. Three of her six runs allowed were earned, while allowing eight hits and a walk. She struck out five. Regan Thompson took the loss for NWMSU, now 4-8 after allowing six runs and lasting just two-thirds of an inning. Kaitlyn Weis also allowed six runs for NWMSU in 2.0 innings of work. Logan Wenzel allowed the final two in 1.1 innings of work.
Caldwell and Jurgensen had a team-best three RBIs each in the game, while Caldwell and Breckbill each had three hits in four at bats. All but two Tigers recorded RBIs in the game and Mohr was the only Tiger without a hit, though she reached base twice and scored two runs.
Fort Hays State 8, Northwest Missouri State 6
Fort Hays State built a big lead early, but had to hang on in the waning moments of game two. After both teams scored one run in the first, the Tigers opened up a six-run lead with a six-run second inning. Northwest Missouri scored twice in the third, but FHSU got a run back in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 8-3 after three innings.
A leadoff walk by Terran Caldwell led to the Tigers' first run, getting under the tag of a throw from the NWMSU first baseman to home plate on a ground ball off the bat of Grace Philop. The Tigers opened the second with five straight hits, a single by Allison Jurgensen, double by Elise Capra, and then three straight singles by Jeni Mohr, Lily Sale, and Caldwell. Northwest Missouri starter Sheridan Thompson ran into a patch of wildness throughout the hit parade, allowing the Tigers to score on one of her five wild pitches in her brief appearance of one inning plus five batters faced in the second. Sale and Caldwell each notched RBIs on their singles. Northwest Missouri reliever Rachel Smith also fought wildness in the inning. She allowed a bases-loaded walk to Sara Breckbill, then allowed two more runs to score on a wild pitches. Northwest Missouri uncorked four of its seven wild pitches in the game in the second inning.
A throwing error by the pitcher that would have been the third out of the fourth inning plated Fort Hays State's final run. Jurgensen came in to score on the play after roping a double just beforehand.
Fort Hays State starter Michaelanne Nelson ran into trouble in the fifth when the Bearcats loaded the bases with two outs. Megan Jamison got the Tigers out of the jam by inducing a fly ball to left fielder Elise Capra to end the threat. The Bearcats had a runner reach third in the sixth, but on an appeal play, was called out for leaving the bag early trying to tag up on a fly out to right field.
Jamison then ran into trouble of her own in the seventh after getting one out. Three hits by the Bearcats, a double and then two singles made it 8-4. Jamison handed the ball to Hailey Chapman, who had to work around danger to get the final two outs. A double and single by the Bearcats with Chapman pitching made the score 8-6 with runners at first and third. Chapman then picked up her second save of the season by getting an infield pop up and a strikeout looking to end the game.
Nelson allowed seven hits and four walks in her start that lasted 4.2 inning. She picked up the win, now 6-8 on the season, while striking out three. All three of her runs allowed were unearned. Jamison bridged the gap to Chapman by throwing 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits.
Thompson of NWMSU received her first pitching decision of the season, moving to 0-1 with the loss with six runs allowed. Smith threw the final 5.0 innings and allowed two runs (one earned).
Fort Hays State produced 22 runs on 25 hits in the doubleheader, batting .446 for the two games.
Lily Sale went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate in the doubleheader with 3 RBIs.
Terran Caldwell produced a team-best 4 RBIs for the day.
Six Tigers had a multi-RBI afternoon in the sweep.
FHSU moved back up to sixth place in the MIAA standings with the wins.
Fort Hays State goes on the road next weekend to Emporia State and Washburn for two more MIAA doubleheaders. The games at Emporia State on Friday (Apr. 12) start at 3 pm, while the contests at Washburn on Saturday (Apr. 13) begin at 1 pm.