WICHITA — Fort Hays State Softball fell twice to Newman University on Wednesday (Apr. 24) in non-conference action. The Jets took game one with a four-run rally in the sixth to win 4-2, then took the nightcap in extra innings in a 1-0 pitching duel. FHSU is now 22-23 overall, while Newman finished its season at 16-35 overall.
Game 1: Newman 4, Fort Hays State 2
The Tigers and Jets played scoreless softball until the fifth inning when the Tigers broke through with a pair of runs. A Grace Philop RBI single broke the scoreless tie after two free passes allowed a pair of Tiger runners on base. Then with the bases loaded, Bailey Boxberger drew a walk to force in a second run.
Michaelanne Nelson held Newman scoreless over five innings on just two hits, but ran into trouble in the sixth. A pair of singles and a fielder's choice loaded the bases for Newman with one out. A walk forced in the first run and then a bases-clearing double to the gap by Kameron Pope was the game changer, immediately putting Newman in front 4-2.
Nelson pitched a complete game for the seventh time this season and moved to 9-11 on the season. She allowed six hits and three walks, but struck out five.
Four of the seven walks allowed by Newman pitcher Dominique Payne occurred in the two-run fifth inning for FHSU. Payne allowed just three hits otherwise and struck out four in a complete game effort, moving to 10-11 on the year.
Game 2: Newman 1, Fort Hays State 0
Fort Hays State and Newman locked in a pitching duel in game two as Hailey Chapman went toe-to-toe with Bailey Bugner. Chapman took the hard-luck loss after both threw seven shutout innings. A leadoff walk and a timely hit in the bottom of the eighth allowed Newman to sweep the doubleheader in walk-off fashion.
The Tigers pieced together only four hits in the contest, but could not take advantage of the five walks allowed by Bugner. The Tigers' had two main threats in the game. The first was Katie Adler attempting to score on a Sara Breckbill single in the third, but she was tagged out just before she reached the plate with her foot. FHSU loaded the bases in the seventh on a single, walk, and hit batter. However, an infield grounder ended another threat.
After a leadoff walk and then a sacrifice bunt in the eighth, Newman won the game on an RBI single by Dominique Payne.
Chapman struck out 10 Jets and allowed four hits with three walks. She moved to 11-12 on the year with the loss. Bugner moved to 3-12 on the year with the complete-game win. She struck out six Tigers.
Fort Hays State now turns its focus to the big doubleheader against Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday (Apr. 27) in Hays. The Tigers are looking for a pair of wins that could possibly vault them into the MIAA Tournament field. The doubleheader is set for 2 pm.