Fort Hays State split a pair of games for the third day in a row at the Washburn Invitational on Sunday (Mar. 1). FHSU dropped a high-scoring contest with St. Cloud State, 11-9, before posting a second-game shutout for the third straight day. The Tigers moved to 13-9 overall on the season.
St. Cloud State 11, Fort Hays State 9
The Tigers held two leads against the Huskies, the second being a sizable lead. However, the Huskies put together a big late-inning rally to get past the Tigers.
FHSU took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on an Alexis Velazquez two-run homer. She was the highest RBI producer in the game for FHSU as she drove in two more in a big Tiger fifth inning.
St. Cloud State snuck past FHSU with single runs in the top of the third, fourth, and fifth innings to take a 3-2 lead, but FHSU erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth. Katie Adler triggered the big inning with a single, but the Huskies recorded two outs before the big two-out Tiger rally. Loren Beggs tied the game with an RBI single before a hit batter and walk loaded the bases. Velazquez plated two more runs with a single, giving the Tigers a 5-3 lead. Elise Capra followed with an RBI single before the Tigers loaded the bases again. Adler then unloaded the bags with a 3-RBI triple down the right field line. FHSU looked in control with a 9-3 lead and just two innings to go.
Tiger pitching unfortunately was unable to keep the SCSU bats in check as the Huskies rallied for seven runs of their own in the top of the sixth. Hailey Chapman allowed the first three runs of the game and handed the ball to Mahealani Haegele in the fifth after giving up a go-ahead solo home run. Haegele could not avoid trouble in the sixth, allowing a three run homer that started the big SCSU response. Megan Jamison entered and gave up three runs on three hits, which tied the game, before Michaelanne Nelson took the ball to get the final two outs of the inning. Unfortunately, the Huskies were able to plate the go-ahead run off Nelson, taking the lead back 10-9. SCSU added an unearned run in the seventh due to a Tiger error.
SCSU reliever Trinity Junker shut the door on the Tigers over the final two innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts. She picked up her first save of the year.
Nelson unfortunately took the loss in relief since a batter that was her responsibility gave SCSU the lead.
Fort Hays State 3, Minnesota-Crookston 0
Michaelanne Nelson extended her streak of complete game shutouts in starts to three straight contests in the blanking of Minnesota-Crookston. She scattered five hits and walked three, but turned in a dominating 11-strikeout performance to tie her career high at FHSU, set earlier this season. Nelson finished the weekend with shutouts over Missouri-St. Louis, Southwest Minnesota State, and Minnesota-Crookston.
Elise Capra delivered the big blow for FHSU in the fourth inning with a two-run home run after Sara Breckbill led off the frame with a single. Capra helped generate another run in the sixth when she led off with a double and came in to score on an error by the Golden Eagles.
Kamryn Frisk took the loss for UMC, allowing two runs in four innings of work. Alina Avalos gave up the final run to the Tigers in three innings of work.
The Tigers open conference play next week at home when they play host to Central Missouri and Lincoln on Friday and Saturday (Mar. 6-7).