The Fort Hays State softball team collected 20 hits on offense and allowed just five base hits on defense en route to a pair of 8-0 shutouts against Lincoln Saturday afternoon at Tiger Stadium (March 7). The Tigers improved to 15-11 overall and 2-2 in MIAA play, while the Blue Tigers move to 6-10 on the year and 0-4 in conference action.
Game 1: Fort Hays State 8, Lincoln 0 (six innings)
After leaving the bases loaded in the home half of the first inning, Fort Hays State broke through in the second when Megan Feiner worked a leadoff walk. Feiner came around to score later in the inning when Katie Adler reached on a throwing error after dropping a sacrifice bunt just inside the third-base line. Lily Sale kept things rolling with a sacrifice fly to center, plating Terran Caldwell, before Loren Beggs drove in Adler on a single down the first-base line.
The Tigers added two more in the third with a two-out rally. The first pitch to Jeni Mohr came inside, hitting the third baseman to prolong the inning. Mohr promptly swiped second before coming around to score on a base knock from Caldwell. Adler kept the inning alive with a double to left center, giving Fort Hays State a 5-0 advantage.
While the Tigers were rolling on offense, starting pitcher Hailey Chapman (6-7) was equally as effective in the circle. The senior did not allow a Blue Tiger runner to advance past second all afternoon, facing more than four batters in just one inning. The righty tossed her first shutout of the season, giving up just three hits over six scoreless innings while striking out six Blue Tigers.
Fort Hays State stretched its lead to 7-0 with a pair of runs in the fifth after Mohr led things off with a double to left. Caldwell followed with a single to center, putting runners on the corners for the top of the lineup. Mohr came in to score on a botched pickoff play before Caldwell crossed the plate for the third time on an RBI groundout from Adler.
The Tigers finished things off with four-straight hits in the home half of the sixth. Sara Breckbill led off with a single to right before Bailey Boxberger hit a pinch-hit single to center. Lexi Kagan followed with another base knock, loading the bases with no one out. The Tigers called on Grace Philop as a pinch hitter, and the junior delivered. Philop swung at the second pitch she saw and sent it down the line just inside of third base, bringing in Breckbill for the game-clinching run.
Game 2: Fort Hays State 8, Lincoln 0 (five innings)
The Tigers benefited from another strong pitching performance in game two after Megan Jamison (1-0) turned in a two-hit shutout. The junior allowed just four baserunners over five scoreless innings, striking out four.
Fort Hays State once again left the bases loaded before getting on the scoreboard, leaving three on in the second. The Tigers manufactured the first run of the game in the third after Lily Sale worked a nine-pitch walk. The senior shortstop swiped her fourth bag of the season to get into scoring position before coming around to score on Sara Breckbill's base hit to right center.
The Tiger offense erupted for seven runs on six hits in the fourth, sending 13 batters to the plate to blow the game wide open. Jeni Mohr got thing going with a three-run blast to left field, her first home run of the season. Terran Caldwell and Katie Adler followed with singles before Loren Beggs drove in a run with a single to center. Alexis Velazquez plated two more with a sharply-hit double off the wall in left field, giving the Tigers an 8-0 lead.
Lincoln tried to answer in the fifth after Jordan Hollon led off with a well-hit single to right center. Jamison struck out the next batter looking before inducing a fly ball to get within one out of the win. Mykenzie Livesay, the Blue Tigers' leadoff hitter, sent a sharply hit ground ball back up the middle that seemed destined for center field, but Sale made a diving stop to keep it on the infield. The shortstop quickly flipped the ball to Adler who was covering second to record the final out.
Caldwell finished the day with a team-best four runs, while Mohr led the Tigers with three RBI. Beggs, Breckbill, Mohr and Caldwell all collected three hits between the two games.
The Tigers will now head out for a 20-game road trip beginning Friday (March 13) at Rogers State. Fort Hays State is not scheduled to play another home game until April 17.