HAYS, Kan. – Fort Hays State split a pair of low-scoring conference games with Missouri Southern on Saturday at Tiger Stadium. The winning team scored just two runs in each contest as FHSU won game one 2-1 before falling in game two 2-0. The Tigers are now 13-13 overall and 7-3 in the MIAA where they sit alone in fourth place. The Lions moved to 15-11 overall and 6-4 in the MIAA.
Game 1: Fort Hays State 2, Missouri Southern 1
Fort Hays State struck first in the second inning when Sarah Tiffany drove home Jessica Espinoza from first base with a double to the right center gap. Missouri Southern tied the game in the fourth benefitting from a leadoff double by Josie Topfi. Leighton Withers followed with an RBI single through the right side of the infield.
The Tigers took the lead back in the fifth as Jessica Espinoza led off the inning with a single and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tiffany. Katie Adler then came through with a clutch two-out RBI single up the middle to score Espinoza from second base.
That was enough offense for Michaelanne Nelson, who put together another strong effort in the pitching circle for the Tigers. She scattered six hits and walked two, while striking out five to move to 7-7 on the season. Abby Atkin took the loss for the Lions, allowing just one earned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out two.
Game 2: Missouri Southern 2, Fort Hays State 0
Fort Hays State had opportunities to score runs three times, but could never get it done against Bailey Lacy, who threw a complete-game shutout for the Lions. Lacy allowed five hits and walked two, while striking out three Tigers. She moved to 4-1 on the season.
The Tigers had runners at second and third with one out in the first an a pair of pop ups ended their first threat. They had a runner at second with two outs in the second and came up empty. Finally in the fifth, they had runners in scoring position again at second and third with two outs, but a ground out ended another chance to score. The Tigers produced singles in the sixth and seventh inning, but never advanced the runner into scoring position. Grace Philop led the Tigers with two hits in the game.
Hailey Chapman was perfect in the pitching circle for the first 11 outs of the game until Josie Topfi changed that with a solo home run to left field in the fourth. Topfi continued to be a thorn in the side of the Tigers in the sixth when she plated another run with a double. Chapman threw a complete game, allowing six hits, but took the tough-luck loss. She struck out six and moved to 6-5 on the season.
The Tigers head out to Denver, Colorado on Tuesday (Apr. 6) for a non-conference doubleheader at MSU Denver before returning home for another MIAA doubleheader. The Tigers will host Nebraska-Kearney next weekend at Tiger Stadium.