FHSU softball starts season 1-3

FHSU Sports Information

Fort Hays State fell twice in its final games at the Lubbock Sports College Invitational on Saturday. The Tigers lost to 19th-ranked Lubbock Christian 6-0 and then came up on the short end of an extra-inning affair with Midwestern State, 4-3. The Tigers are 1-3 through their first four games of the season.

#19 Lubbock Christian 6, Fort Hays State 0

Fort Hays State fell behind early and never gained any traction offensively in a shutout loss to Lubbock Christian. Brooke Makemson put the Lady Chaparrals on top with a 3-run home run in the first and later tripled home a run, posting a four-RBI game for LCU. LCU scored one in the second and two in the fifth to extend its lead, all on RBI hits.

Jessica Espinoza was the only Tiger to keep Taylor Franco from holding the Tigers hitless in her six innings of work. Espinoza singled in the third for the only Tiger hit in the contest. Franco kept the Tigers grounded, getting 14 of her 18 outs by ground balls and did not record a strikeout. Dakota Stotyn pitched the final inning for LCU, recording the only strikeout of the game against the Tigers.

Megan Jamison took the loss as she allowed the 3-run home run in the first. Espinoza allowed a run in three innings of work with a strikeout and Hailey Chapman allowed two runs in another three innings of work with four strikeouts.

Midwestern State 4, Fort Hays State 3 (8 inn.)

Fort Hays State was just inches from winning in walk-off fashion in the seventh inning of their second contest. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but a flyout to left field turned into a double play when left fielder Payton Griffin of Midwestern State threw out Sara Breckbill at the plate trying to score the winning run. Catcher Bailey Brenek applied the tag on Breckbill's foot just before it reached the plate.

Following their game saving play, the Mustangs went on to score two runs in the top of the eighth and the Tigers plated just one with the international tiebreaker format used immediately. Brooke Taylor doubled home a run for MSU before a Tiger fielding error allowed a second run to score later in the eighth. Sarah Tiffany singled home Terran Caldwell in the bottom of the eighth and reached third with two outs before a groundout ended the game.

FHSU and MSU went scoreless for the first three innings of the game before MSU scratched the first run across in the fourth. FHSU answered in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI bunt single by Lexi Kagan. MSU plated its second run on a wild pitch in the fifth inning, but the Tigers evened the score once again in the sixth on a Tiffany triple.

Both teams had golden opportunities in the seventh. MSU had the bases loaded with no outs and Michaelanne Nelson worked out of danger getting two fielder's choice grounders that produced outs at the plate and a strikeout to end the threat. FHSU threatened with one out in the seventh, loading the bases with a single, hit batter, and a walk. Terran Caldwell drove the ball nicely to left field on the flyout that turned into a double play with Breckbill cut down at the plate.

Kaitlyn Turner pitched the first 6.2 innings for MSU before handing the ball to Addi Hanna, who picked up the win in relief. Turner allowed nine hits to the Tigers, while Hanna allowed one. Turner struck out two and Hanna had one.

Hailey Chapman pitched the first five innings for FHSU, allowing just one earned run on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Nelson pitched the final three innings and took the tough-luck loss, allowing no earned runs on three hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

On Friday, the Tigers won their season opener 6-3 over Texas-Permian Basin before falling 4-1 in their nightcap against West Texas A&M.

Fort Hays State 6, Texas-Permian Basin 3

The Tigers opened the year with a roaring start in the first inning as Sarah Tiffany hit a solo homer in her first collegiate at bat. Sara Breckbill followed with an RBI double to give FHSU a 2-0 advantage. Singles from Kristen Reed and Loren Beggs set up the run-scoring hit by Breckbill.

A rash of Tiger errors in the bottom of the first allowed UTPB to knot the score at 2-2, but FHSU moved back in front by a run in the third on a Grace Philop RBI single with two outs that plated Reed. Philop pushed the lead to 4-2 with another RBI single in the fifth, set up by Breckbill's second double of the game.

Reed put a cap on the offensive effort for the Tigers in the seventh with a two-run homer, giving her a 3-for-4 effort at the plate. Tiffany scored on the bomb after doubling right in front of Reed.

Hailey Chapman went the distance in the pitching circle with four strikeouts. She allowed five hits and did not walk any batters. Abby Cousins took the loss for UTPB, allowing four runs in 5.2 innings of relief work.

West Texas A&M 4, Fort Hays State 1

The Tigers struggled to find run-scoring opportunities after a golden opportunity in the first inning. The Tigers had the bases loaded with one out, only to see a double play end their threat. Sarah Tiffany generated the only run of the game for FHSU in the third. She had a double to lead off the inning and later came in to score on a wild pitch. Sara Breckbill was the only Tiger with a multi-hit game, producing a pair of singles.

West Texas A&M took a 1-0 lead in the first inning by executing a double steal of second and home. A two-run homer by Maddie Geidel in the fourth broke a 1-1 tie between the teams. Shanna McBroom added a solo homer for WTAMU in the fifth, capping the scoring between the teams.

Michaelanne Nelson took the loss, throwing 4.0 innings. She allowed four hits and four walks, while striking out three. Megan Jamison gave the Tigers a solid relief effort of 3.0 innings with four strikeouts and just one hit allowed. Jamison got the Tigers out of a bases-loaded no-out jam in the fifth with a strikeout and then a ground ball double play. Kyra Lair was the winning pitcher for WTAMU, throwing a complete game with seven strikeouts.