Tiger softball finally set to play at home
After playing its first 22 games away from Hays, the Fort Hays State softball team will play on its home field for the first time this weekend in a pair of MIAA doubleheaders. The Tigers host Pittsburg State on Friday at 2 p.m., followed by Missouri Southern on Saturday at noon.
FHSU enters the weekend at 10-12 overall and 4-2 in the MIAA. Pittsburg State carries a record of 10-16 overall and a 4-4 mark in the MIAA. Missouri Southern will start its weekend road trip on Friday at Nebraska-Kearney with a 12-10 overall record and 3-3 mark in MIAA play before coming to Hays on Saturday.
— FHSU has endured six weeks of action away from Hays before finally playing on its home field.
— FHSU is scheduled to play 14 games at home in the month of April, all in MIAA play.
— The Tigers have only eight road games remaining on their schedule.
— FHSU has enjoyed a winning record at home in each of the three previous seasons. — The Tigers were 4-2 at home during the abbreviated 2020 season.
— Sara Breckbill is the team leader in batting average (.370), RBIs (18), extra-base hits (10), slugging percentage (.534), and on-base percentage (.425). Breckbill is tied for the MIAA lead in doubles (9) with three other players.
— FHSU owns a team ERA of 2.61, which ranks fourth in the MIAA. Michaelanne Nelson ranks fourth individually among conference pitchers in ERA at 1.71. Both Nelson and Hailey Chapman rank among the top 10 MIAA pitchers in strikeouts, Nelson fourth on the list at 61 and Chapman 10th on the list at 44. Chapman is third in the MIAA in innings pitched (72.0).
The Gorillas started 4-0 in MIAA play before dropping their last four in conference play, swept in doubleheaders with Washburn and Missouri Southern. Pittsburg State lost six games in a row until Wednesday, when it swept Southwest Baptist in a non-conference doubleheader. FHSU and Pittsburg State's Division II series history has been close with Pitt State holding a 20-18 edge. The teams split a conference doubleheader in 2019 in Hays with both games decided by one run. FHSU and Pittsburg State did not meet last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lions enter the weekend at 3-3 in MIAA play. They split a pair with Newman, dropped both of a pair with Central Oklahoma, and then most recently swept Pittsburg State. The Lions have won their last four games going into the weekend. FHSU owns a 19-14 advantage in the all-time series. The Tigers won both games of a conference doubleheader in Hays in 2019 by scores of 8-4 and 8-2. FHSU and Missouri Southern did not meet last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.