LUBBOCK, Texas - Fort Hays State moved to 4-1 overall on the season with a 5-3 win over CSU-Pueblo on Sunday morning. Down 1-0, the Tigers rallied for four runs in the fifth to take the lead and then held on in a wild final inning for their third straight win.
Megan Jamison started in the pitching circle for FHSU, getting her first work of the 2020 season. CSU-Pueblo plated a run in the bottom of the first on an RBI double, but Jamison worked out of a jam in the second inning to keep the game tight. With a runner at third, Jamison got a pair of key ground balls to keep the margin at one run.
Hailey Chapman took over in the circle in the third. She held the Thunderwolves scoreless through her first three innings of work, scattering three hits over that stretch.
The Tigers finally broke through offensively in the top of the fifth, thanks to a pair of pinch hitters fueling the rally. Elise Capra was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After CSU-Pueblo recorded one out, Bailey Boxberger delivered a pinch hit single through the left side to get two Tigers aboard. Loren Beggs then stepped into the box as a pinch hitter and delivered an RBI double to the right-center gap. Katie Adler looped an RBI single down the left field line to push the Tigers in front. Then with two outs, Alexis Velazquez delivered a clutch two-RBI single through the right side. FHSU led 4-1 through five innings.
CSU-Pueblo made the lead uncomfortable with an RBI double and RBI single in the sixth, scratching out its first runs against Chapman to make the score 4-3. However, Kristen Reed gave the Tigers insurance in the seventh with an RBI double to the left center gap to push the lead out to two runs, 5-3, going to the bottom of the seventh.
The last half inning of the game was a wild one. CSU-Pueblo started the frame with a single, but immediately turned null when the next batter hit into a double play. The Tigers were just one out from securing the win, but getting that out was anything but routine.
The third CSU-Pueblo batter of the inning struck a ball right back to Chapman in the circle who knocked it down, but in her haste threw the ball away and CSU-Pueblo instantly had a runner in scoring position at second. The batter following then blooped a single into center field and the runner came flying around to the plate, making what looked like a 5-4 score, still with two outs. CSU-Pueblo had the potential winning run coming up to bat, but a technicality came into play moments after. CSU-Pueblo's coaches forgot to announce the re-entry of their batter who just blooped the single to center field.
Before Adrian Pilkington drew attention to the omission, she had already brought on Michaelanne Nelson to warm up looking to get the last out of the game. While Nelson was warming up, Pilkington became aware of the situation. She then went to the umpire to see if he ever received a re-entry request, which he did not, so he ruled the batter at first base out, which ended the game. Nelson never had to throw a pitch.
Chapman picked up the win by going a complete 5.0 innings in relief of Jamison. She moved to 2-1 on the season with the decision.
The Tigers will return to action next weekend (Feb. 14-16) with five games in Oklahoma, looking to build on their good start to the season.
Stats were not available yet at the posting time of this article.