Danie Brinkmann’s two-out single drove in two runs to break a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth and lift the No. 10 Fort Hays State softball team to a 5-3 victory over Emporia State in the opening round of the NCAA II Central Regional-1 at Tigers Stadium Friday evening. Brinkmann’s heriocs came after the Hornets intentionally walked Maddie Holub to load the bases.
The Tigers, who pick up their first ever NCAA Tournament win, improve to 46-10 and advance to the semifinals where they will play MIAA regular season champ Central Oklahoma (43-11) at 1pm Saturday. The Bronchos defeated Minot State 2-0 in their first-round game. The Hornets and Beavers meet in an elimination game Saturday at 3:30pm.
The Tigers rallied three different times to tie the game. Paxton Duran’s two-out bases loaded walk tie the game 1-1 in the first. Tori Beltz singled with two outs in the third, scoring Brinkmann to tie the game 2-2. After the Hornets scored a run in the fifth, Paxton Duran’s two-out single to center field scored Holub knot the score at 3-3.
Holub (28-2) picks up the win, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits, striking out five and walking two. Brinkmann finished with two hits and two RBI’s. Paxton Duran also had two hits and two driven in. Holub also had two hits and two runs scored.