WARRENSBURG, Mo. – Fort Hays State held leads in both contests at Central Missouri on Friday afternoon (Apr. 19) only to see each slip away. Central Missouri rallied for three runs in the final inning of game one to win in walk-off fashion 4-3 before coming from behind twice in game two to win 8-5. Fort Hays State moved to 19-20 overall and 10-12 in the MIAA with the losses, while UCM improved to 28-16 overall and 12-6 in the MIAA.
Game 1: Central Missouri 4, Fort Hays State 3
Fort Hays State led from the top of the second until Central Missouri's final turn at bat, but squandered what could have been a big conference win in game one. Central Missouri rallied for three run in the bottom of the seventh before the Tigers could record an out. The Jennies took game one by a score of 4-3.
Elise Capra pushed the Tigers in front 2-0 with a two-RBI double in the second inning, scoring Sara Breckbill and Grace Philop. The Tigers kept a shutout in tact until the Jennies broke through with a run in the sixth, cutting the lead to 2-1. Katie Adler pushed the Tiger lead back to a two-run margin in the sixth with an RBI single to make it 3-1 going to the bottom of the seventh.
Tiger pitcher Hailey Chapman held the Jennies hitless through 3.2 innings before allowing one in the fourth. The Jennies collected their second hit in the sixth to produce their first run. Chapman stood just three outs from a 13th complete game this year, but her solid outing unraveled in the seventh. Chapman hit the first batter she faced in the inning, then a single put runners at first and second. She walked the third batter of the inning, which loaded the bases. Another single by UCM pushed the first run of the inning across and then Chapman hit another batter to force in the tying run. Michaelanne Nelson relieved Chapman, but UCM leadoff hitter Lauryn Deer placed a ball back to Nelson well enough to score the winning run from third.
Chapman took the loss, moving to 10-10 on the season. She allowed four hits, three walks, and hit three batters. Gentry Wishard (8-4) picked up the win in an inning of relief work, allowing one hit with a strikeout. UCM starter Alexa Bradley pitched 6.0 innings, allowing three hits and two walks with a strikeout.
Game 2: Central Missouri 8, Fort Hays State 5
Fort Hays State jumped out to a good start in game two with a three-run first, only to have it immediately erased in the bottom half of the inning with three runs by UCM. The Tigers led once more after a run in the second to make it 4-3, but UCM tied the game once again in the bottom of the third with one run. The Jennies took their first lead with two runs in the fourth and extended the lead to 8-4 with two more runs in the fifth. A run in the seventh by FHSU was too little, too late.
FHSU chased UCM starting pitcher Shelby Clark from the circle just two outs into the game. Clark was charged with all three first-inning runs by FHSU. Allison Jurgensen was hit by a pitch, Sara Breckbill walked, and Grace Philop singled to load the bases. Bailey Boxberger knocked in two runs with a single, then Jeni Mohr added an RBI single two batters later.
The Jennies quickly took all of the Tiger momentum away with a walk, single, and two-RBI double to open their half of the first inning. The third run came in later on a double steal attempt where FHSU got the out at second but surrendered the run at the plate.
Grace Philop put the Tigers back in front in the second with an RBI single, driving in Katie Adler from second base.
A throwing error by the Tigers in the third allowed UCM to get the game tied once more. The first lead for UCM came in the fourth on a two-out RBI triple by Hailey Crabtree. Jessica Sader followed with an RBI single.
Michaelanne Nelson recorded the first out of the fifth inning before handing the ball to Hailey Chapman with runners at second and third. Chapman got one out by strikeout, but gave up a two-out, two-RBI single to Ashlyn Cook, which gave UCM breathing room.
UCM reliever Gentry Wishard continued her strong day in the circle against FHSU by throwing the final 6.1 innings to earn a win. The run she allowed to FHSU in the seventh was unearned. The Tigers picked up that run on a sacrifice fly RBI by Elise Capra. Wishard allowed five hits without a walk and struck out one, moving to 9-4 on the season.
Nelson moved to 8-10 on the season with the loss. She threw 4.1 innings and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits and four walks. Chapman threw the final 1.2 innings of the contest, striking out two with one hit allowed.
-Grace Philop led the Tigers with three hits in the doubleheader.
-Elise Capra led the Tigers in RBIs for the day with three.
-The five runs scored by FHSU in game two was its second most in a loss this year, second only to an 11-8 setback to Oklahoma Baptist on March 13. FHSU is now 13-2 when scoring five or more runs in a game this season.
Fort Hays State is now on the outside looking in for a conference tournament berth at the end of the season. The losses at UCM pushed the Tigers down into a tie for 10th place in the MIAA standings with Missouri Southern. There is now a four-way tie for sixth place in the standings with three teams at 11-11 and one at 10-10. Only four games in conference play remain for FHSU. The Tigers seek a sweep at Southwest Baptist on Saturday (Apr. 20) to jump back into that cluster of teams on the tournament cutline. Southwest Baptist has struggled of late, currently on a 16-game losing streak. The Bearcats enter Saturday at 5-42 overall and 2-18 in the MIAA.