HAYS, Kan. – Fort Hays State softball swept Kansas Wesleyan in its home-opening doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers won by scores of 2-0 and 13-1 to move to 3-2 overall on the season. It was the first two games of the year for the Coyotes.
Game 1: Fort Hays State 2, Kansas Wesleyan 0
The first game of the doubleheader remained scoreless all the way until the bottom of the sixth, when a dropped fly ball off the bat of Elise Capra allowed two runs to score. That was the break the Tigers needed as Sierra Rodriguez and Hailey Chapman combined for a shutout. Chapman picked up her first win of the season in three innings of relief work.
Fly balls to right field were an adventure for the Coyotes throughout the game. After a pair of dropped fly balls by the right fielder early in the game, the center fielder opted to cut in front of the right fielder on Capra’s fly ball to right in the sixth and she dropped what would have been the third out of the inning. Sara Breckbill and Allison Jurgensen had singles earlier in the inning that set up the opportunity for Capra.
Sierra Rodriguez threw the first four innings of the game, allowing three hits without a walk. Chapman mowed through the Coyotes in three innings of relief, posting seven strikeouts. She had a run of four straight strikeouts from the last out of the fifth to the final out of the sixth. Chapman did allow a walk, her first baserunner allowed in 7.0 total innings of relief work this season.
Katie Adler was a bright spot for the Tigers offensively in the first game, going 3-for-3 at the dish and collecting half of the Tigers’ six hits in the game.
Game 2: Fort Hays State 13, Kansas Wesleyan 1
Fort Hays State pulled away early for a run-rule victory in the nightcap. The Tigers plated five runs in the first, three in the third, and five in the fourth before the run rule stopped the game after four and a half innings.
Bailey Boxberger was 2-for-2 at the plate and added a sacrifice fly to finish with a team-best three RBI in the game. Grace Philop had a 3-for-3 effort at the plate with one RBI. Sara Breckbill belted a solo home to left field in the first inning and scored a team-high three runs in the game. Elise Capra tattooed a ball over the left center field wall for a three-run home run in the third. Capra was 1-for-1 at the dish, though she reached base in her other two plate appearances on a hit-by-pitch and walk. Katie Adler and Megan Feiner also picked up one RBI each.
Megan Jamison threw three scoreless innings in her first start of the season in the pitching circle before finally surrendering Kansas Wesleyan’s only run of the day in the fourth. She scattered five hits before turning the ball over to Michaelanne Nelson with one out in the fourth. Nelson threw the final 1.2 innings for FHSU, getting four of her five outs by strikeout. Jamison qualified for the win since the game ended in the fifth.
The Tigers now prep for four games this weekend (Feb. 16-17) in Conway, Arkansas. Originally, FHSU was supposed to play in Bentonville, Arkansas this weekend, but that tournament was canceled.
-Katie Adler went 4-for-6 at the plate for the day and took over the team lead in batting average, now at .533 through five games.
-Hailey Chapman has thrown 7.0 innings of no-hit ball in relief this year, allowing just one walk with 10 strikeouts in three relief appearances.
-Sierra Rodriguez and Megan Jamison saw their first action of the season in the pitching circle on Wednesday afternoon.
-FHSU is batting .346 as a team through 5 games, which is second best in the MIAA to this point.
-Fort Hays State’s team pitching ERA is 2.48, which ranks 4th in the MIAA to this point.
-Katie Adler, Grace Philop, and Sara Breckbill all collected at least 3 hits on the day.
-All 11 strikeouts recorded by the Tigers in the doubleheader were by relievers Hailey Chapman and Michaelanne Nelson.