Breckbill drives in 9 during Tigers' sweep
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Fort Hays State swept a doubleheader with Lincoln University on Sunday (Mar. 21) to open MIAA play for the 2021 season. Michaelanne Nelson tossed a shutout in game one and Sara Breckbill produced nine RBIs over the doubleheader to highlight the Tiger sweep. FHSU won by scores of 4-0 and 10-4 to improve to 8-10 overall and 2-0 in the MIAA.
Game 1: Fort Hays State 4, Lincoln 0
Michaelanne Nelson held Lincoln hitless over its first 10 outs before surrendering a single in the fourth inning. She went on to allow one more hit in the seventh before recording her first complete game shutout of the season. She walked five and struck out seven.
The Tigers went scoreless over the first four innings before Sarah Tiffany drove home a run in the fifth with a single. Sara Breckbill gave Nelson breathing room going into the bottom of the seventh when she delivered in the seventh with a 3-RBI bases-clearing double. Nelson sealed the shutout in the bottom half of the inning, picking up her fourth win of the season in the pitching circle.
Breckbill and Lily Sale each had two hits in the game. Sale's first hit led to her scoring on the Tiffany single in the fifth.
Game 2: Fort Hays State 10, Lincoln 4
Fort Hays State built a 4-0 cushion in the second contest through three innings. Sarah Tiffany doubled to open the game and came in to score on a Sara Breckbill RBI single in the first. Later in the third, Breckbill kept piling on RBIs for the day with a 2-RBI double. Shortly following, Loren Beggs came in to score on a passed ball.
Lincoln produced its first runs of the day with a two-out rally in the fourth. The Blue Tigers crossed the plate three times all on three straight two-out RBI hits, closing the Tiger lead down to just one at 4-3.
Breckbill pushed the lead back to two in the fifth with an RBI double, but Lincoln answered to draw back within a run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
A pair of walks by Hannah Gates and Tiffany and a single by Katie Adler opening the seventh inning set up more opportunity for the Tigers to do damage with the middle of their order with the bases loaded. Beggs drove home the first run of the inning for FHSU on a sacrifice fly, then Breckbill followed with a 2-RBI single. At that point, Breckbill had drove home nine runs for the day and six within game two. She also finished the game 4-for-4 at the plate. A fielding error off the bat of Jessica Espinoza allowed two more Tigers to cross the plate and FHSU led 10-4 going into the last half inning.
Hailey Chapman gave the Tigers another complete game effort in the pitching circle by working around a pair of singles in the seventh. She allowed three earned runs in the game on eight hits and four walks, while striking out six. She also picked up her fourth win of the season in the circle.
For the day, Breckbill finished 6-for-7 at the plate with three doubles and three singles to produced nine RBIs, upping her season total of runs driven home to 15. She reached base in seven of eight plate appearances as she drew a walk in game one.
The Tigers are scheduled to go to Washburn and Emporia State next week for another pair of MIAA doubleheaders on March 26 and 27.