Tigers close out Minnesota-Duluth Invitational at 2-3

FHSU Sports Information

No. 14 Fort Hays State Softball went 1-2 in the final day of action at the Minnesota Duluth Invitational on Monday, defeating Minot State, 2-1, before falling to UMD twice, 4-2 in a continuation of Sunday’s game (suspended due to time constraints) and 11-1 (5 innings).

All told, the Tigers went 2-3 overall at the Invitational and are now 9-4 on the season.

FHSU returns to the field this weekend, Feb. 28-March 2 at the Teri Mathis Tournament in Joplin, Mo., hosted by Missouri Southern.  FHSU will take on four Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference teams – Northern State, Winona State, Sioux Falls and Upper Iowa – at the tournament, as well as No. 11 Missouri-St. Louis in a rematch from earlier this season.

A complete recap of Monday’s game is below…

Fort Hays State 2, Minot State 1
FHSU’s Kelsey Kimminau threw a complete game with seven strikeouts, allowing just one run on four hits.  Kimminau improved to 3-1 with the effort.

At the plate, FHSU’s Danie Brinkmann and Tori Beltz were 1-for-3, with Brinkmann driving in one of the two Tiger runs on the day.  Amy Dunn (1-for-2) had the Tigers’ other RBI in addition to drawing a walk.

In the top of the second, FHSU manufactured a run on two hits to take a 1-0 lead.  Beltz led off the inning with a single down the right field line before Kelli Koehler entered to pinch run.  During Courtney Dobson’s at-bat, Koehler stole second and moved to third on Dobson’s ground out.  Later in the inning, Dunn’s single to center field scored Koehler and gave Dunn her first RBI of the season.

Fort Hays State added to its lead in the fifth, starting with a lead-off walk from Dunn.  After reaching second on Kellsi Olsen’s bunt single, Dunn was tagged at third as Bianca Adame reached on a fielder’s choice. Rilee Krier’s single loaded the bases, and Brinkmann followed with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Olsen.

Minot answered with one of its own in the fifth as Alyssa Cornejo hit a solo home run, but that was as close as the Beavers would come.

Minnesota-Duluth 4, Fort Hays State 2 (continuation from Sunday)
FHSU’s second game of the day was a continuation of yesterday’s matchup with Minnesota Duluth after the game was called due to time constraints in the facility.  FHSU trailed, 3-2, at the time the game was called (five innings completed), and the final two innings were played today (Feb. 24).  After the dust settled, FHSU fell in a back-and-forth game, 4-2.

Paxton Duran (5-1) took her first loss of the season, throwing four innings and allowing three runs on three hits.  Duran struck out three batters as well.  In relief, Katlyn Kern threw the final two innings, giving up five hits but allowing just one run.  Kern struck out two.

Offensively, Strand finished 2-for-3 with a home run, while Adame went 2-for-3 with a run.  Krier had an RBI as well.

Adame led off the game with a double to left field and then scored on Krier’s single up the middle, giving FHSU a 1-0 lead in the first.
UMD answered with a run of its own in the first, as Sami Schnyder came home on Megan Mullen’s RBI ground-rule double.

In the third, UMD took a 2-1 lead as Ashley Schilling came home on Jordan Rice’s double down the left field line.

That lead was short lived, however, as Strand took a pitch over the fence in left center for her second home run of the season, tying it 2-2.

UMD took the lead for good in the fifth on Schilling’s lead-off home run.  The game would be called at that point due to time constraints, but continued on Monday morning.

The Bulldogs added one more run in the sixth, using four hits and an FHSU error to take a 4-2 lead.  Krier caught a line drive from Rice to start a double play that ended the inning with runners on second and third.

In the top of the seventh, down two, FHSU put runners on second and third with two outs, but fell just short of a comeback.

Minnesota-Duluth 11, Fort Hays State 1 (5 innings)
Fort Hays State struggled in the final matchup of the UMD Invitational, falling to the host squad 11-1 in five innings.

Duran (5-2) took the loss, throwing 3.1 innings and allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits.  Duran struck out four before Jordan Jones replaced her.  Jones threw 1.1 innings, giving up three runs (none earned) on two hits.  Cochran entered the game in the fifth and was credited with three runs (none earned) on two hits.

Olsen led the team with a 2-for-2  performance at the plate, while Brinkmann, Beltz and Vaupel each had doubles.

The Tigers’ lone run came in the third inning, when down 2-0, Olsen led off the inning with a single before moving to second as Brinkmann was hit by a pitch.  With two outs, Beltz’s ground rule double pushed Olsen home and pulled the Tigers within one.

That was it, however, for FHSU, as UMD scored in each of the final three innings, including six runs in the fifth to invoke a run-rule.