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FHSU softball splits at Northwest Missouri State

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FHSU Sports Information

The Tigers’ softball team split its conference doubleheader with Northwest Missouri State on Saturday.  Fort Hays State dropped the first game, 7-4, in Maryville, Mo., before rallying late to win in extra innings, 3-2, in Game 2.

FHSU snapped a four-game losing streak with the win, moving to 23-16 on the season and 12-8 in the MIAA.  NWMSU is now 15-19 overall and 8-8 in the conference.

FHSU returns to the field next weekend, April 11-12 with road doubleheaders at Missouri Southern on Friday (April 11) and Pittsburg State on Saturday (April 12).

Game 1: NWMSU 7, FHSU 4
Fort Hays State fell behind early and couldn’t recover, dropping a 7-4 contest in Game 1 of a doubleheader with Northwest Missouri State.

Paxton Duran (13-7) took the loss, throwing 2.2 innings and giving up four runs on five hits. Katlyn Kern entered in the third, allowing two runs on four hits in 1.1 innings before Kelsey Kimminau closed out the final two innings, giving up a run on three hits with two strikeouts.

Samantha Villarreal had two home runs and three RBI in the game, finishing 3-of-3 at the plate. Bianca Adame, Danie Brinkmann and Kellsi Olsen were all 1-for-3 in the game.

NWMSU took a 2-0 lead in the first as Stephanie Mark hit a two-run shot to left field.

Leading off the second, Villarreal cut the lead in half (2-1) with a solo shot to left center – her third home run of the season.  FHSU had two more reach in the inning, but were stranded in the scoring threat.

In the third, NWMSU added another two runs, taking advantage of three singles and two FHSU errors to stretch the lead to 3-1.

Villarreal answered in the fourth with her second home run of the day, lining a shot over the center field to pull the Tigers back within two, 4-2.

Mark’s 2-RBI single in the bottom of the fourth put the Bearcats up by four (6-2) before the Tigers again climbed back within striking distance in the fifth.

Olsen led off the inning with a bunt single, reaching second on Adame’s sacrifice bunt, and with two outs, Brinkman’s single up the middle plated Olsen to shrink the deficit to 6-3.  Villarreal followed with her third hit of the day, a single into center field that skipped past NWSU’s Jordan Ereth, allowing Kelli Koehler (who pinch ran for Brinkmann) to score.

A solo home run from Madison Jones in the fifth gave NWMSU back a three-run lead (7-4) that the Tigers couldn’t overcome.

Game 2: FHSU 3, NWMSU 2, 8 innings
Fort Hays State rallied late to force extras, clinching the victory with an eighth inning run to defeat Northwest Missouri State, 3-2, in the doubleheader finale.

Kelsey Kimminau started the second game, tossing four innings and giving up two runs on four hits, striking out one. Jordan Jones threw into the sixth, totaling 1.1 innings with two strikeouts before Paxton Duran replaced her.  Duran threw the final 2.2 innings for the win, striking out two while moving to 14-7 this season.

Bianca Adame was 2-for-4 with a run while Courtney Dobson was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI. Kylie Strand and Callie Wright each went 1-for-3, with Wright supplying the game-tying RBI double.

NWMSU took a 2-0 lead in the third, using three hits, including Stephanie Mark’s RBI double, to score two runs.

In the sixth, Dobson took a pitch off the left field scoreboard to put FHSU back within one, down 2-1.  It was Dobson’s first home run of the season.

FHSU put together late inning drama to tie the game, starting with Strand’s two out single in the seventh.  Strand came all the way around on Wright’s RBI double in the next at-bat, knotting it at 2-all and forcing extra innings.

Adame led off the eighth with a single to shortstop, and while stealing second, advanced to third on an overthrow by the catcher.  Dobson’s pop up to the second baseman went into the outfield, causing an off-balanced catch that allowed Adame to come home and give FHSU its first lead of the afternoon, 3-2.

After NWMSU loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, Amanda Vaupel’s diving catch in center field sealed the victory.

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