DENVER – Fort Hays State Softball was so close to a doubleheader sweep at MSU Denver on Tuesday. The Tigers had just one out to get in the first game, but saw the Roadrunners tie the game with a clutch base hit and then win on a walk-off home run by a score of 13-11. However, behind a complete-game effort by Bailey Carlson in the circle, the Tigers took game two 3-1 and grabbed a split moving to 14-10 overall on the season. The Roadrunners moved to 19-8 overall.
Game 1: MSU Denver 13, Fort Hays State 11
The Tigers had control of game one, up 9-1 after two and a half innings, only to see the Roadrunners chip away in the middle innings and rally back in front 10-9. FHSU took the lead back in the sixth 11-10, but MSU Denver came up clutch with just one out to work with in the seventh and won 13-11.
After the Roadrunners plated a run in the first on a 2-out RBI double, the Tigers rallied for a big seven spot in the top of the second. Loren Beggs made the Roadrunner lead short lived with a leadoff bomb over the left field wall. Carly Stuke walked, Madison Pierce singled, then Regan Curry put the Tigers up 2-1 with an RBI single. Lexi Mohr gave the Tigers three straight singles and drove in Pierce to make it 3-1. The Tigers used some small-ball chaos to get their next two runs with Adysen Burghart laying down a sacrifice bunt that Regan Curry came in to score on after the ball got away on an error at first base. The Roadrunners committed another error on an infield chop by Peyton Shepard, allowing pinch runner Reese Curry to score. Lilliana Ramirez-Johnson picked up an RBI single and then Beggs capped the seven-run burst with a sacrifice fly RBI.
The Tigers added on in the third when the Curry sisters had back-to-back singles. Regan came in to score on a Burghart sacrifice fly RBI and Reese came in to score on a Shepard RBI single. The Tigers led 9-1.
The Roadrunners started their comeback in the third with a two-run homer by Hannah DiFabio. After a double, starting pitcher Savanah Egger handed the ball to Emma Montoya. A dropped fly ball on two outs allowed another run to score and MSU Denver was within five at 9-4 after three innings.
The Roadrunners immediately jumped back into the contest in the fourth via a single, a Tiger error, a hit batter, and then a grand slam by Jaden Geist. The Tigers clung to a 9-8 lead at that point. The Roadrunners completed the rally back to their second lead of the game at 10-9 in the fifth on a two-run home run by Kami Grammerstorf.
The Tigers were not done though. Peyton Shepard singled and Sarah Tiffany doubled to set up a clutch two-out RBI single by Carly Stuke to left center field, taking the lead back at 11-10. The fielder dove for the ball, but it popped out of her glove when she hit the turf.
A leadoff walk in the seventh would end up biting the Tigers. The runner eventually got to third with two outs and the Roadrunners were down to their last strike when Grammerstorf managed to slip a ball through the middle of the infield for a game-tying base hit. That capped a 4-for-4 game for Grammerstorf. Then after fouling off three straight 3-2 pitches, Alexia Boring drove a ball over the center field wall to give the Roadrunners a walk-off 13-11 win.
Egger allowed four runs (three earned) in her 2.2 innings of work with three strikeouts. Montoya gave up nine (eight earned) in 4.0 innings of work with two strikeouts, moving to 2-2 on the season. The Tigers touched up MSU Denver starter Audrey Burt for six runs (three earned) on four hits. Cheyenne Prieto pitched the final 6.0 innings for the Roadrunners and picked up the win, allowing five runs (two earned) on eight hits.
Game 2: Fort Hays State 3, MSU Denver 1
Bailey Carlson shut down any momentum the Roadrunners carried over from their game-one win. She held MSU Denver scoreless the first five innings and allowed just a single tally in the sixth before finishing off her strong performance in the seventh. Carlson allowed just two hits through the first five innings and finished with five allowed to go with three walks and two strikeouts. She improved to 4-3 on the season.
The Tigers built a 3-0 lead in the game with one run in the third and two in the fourth. Back-to-back singles by Lexi Mohr and Adysen Burghart eventually set up a Sarah Tiffany RBI on a fielder's choice to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Loren Beggs led off the fourth with a triple to the right field corner and Carly Stuke walked to set up an RBI double by Regan Curry and an RBI sac fly by Reese Curry.
The Roadrunners got the potential tying run to the plate with two outs in the seventh, but Carlson got Alexia Boring to ground out to end the game.
The Tigers continue their mid-week trip to Colorado with a doubleheader at CSU-Pueblo on Wednesday. Games are set to begin at 2 p.m. (3 p.m. CT) in Pueblo, Colo.