FHSU Sports Information Department
HAYS, Kan. – Fort Hays State split a doubleheader at home with Newman University on Wednesday (Apr. 19). The Tigers rallied in the final inning to take game one, 4-3, before falling in game two, 9-5. FHSU is now 14-38 overall, while Newman moved to 14-32 overall.
Game 1: Fort Hays State 4, Newman 3
Fort Hays State could not solve Newman pitcher Jensen Cromer through the first six innings of the game but put together a furious rally in the final inning to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 walk-off win.
Newman put together single runs in the second, third, and seventh innings to build its 3-0 lead in the game. The final run in the seventh came in courtesy of a Tiger error.
In the bottom of the seventh, Veronica Knittig triggered the Tiger rally with a single to open the inning. Collette West walked, then the game-turning play occurred with Claudia Vazquez at the dish with one out. Vazquez laid down a well-placed bunt for a single, but the pitcher’s late throw to first base sailed down the right field line allowing Knittig and West to score. Vazquez motored all the way to third. Bailey Kennedy tied the game with another well-placed bunt for a single and Vazquez dashed home to get around a potential tag from the catcher to tie the game.
Jeni Mohr added an infield single to set the stage for Candace Bollig to deliver the walk-off heroics. She drove a ball into the right-center field gap for a double, plating Kennedy from second.
Hailey Chapman benefitted from the late rally for the win in the pitching circle. She earned her ninth win with a complete game, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk. She struck out six.
Game 2: Newman 9, Fort Hays State 5
Five Tiger errors led to seven unearned Newman runs, making a difference that the Tigers could not overcome.
The game saw eight runs scored between the teams in the first inning. Two of the Newman runs in the first frame were unearned, but the Tigers rallied for five in the bottom half of the inning to take a 5-3 lead. FHSU had six hits in the inning. Candace Bollig started the run-scoring parade with a RBI triple. Bailey Boxberger knocked her home with a single. Veronica Knittig notched a RBI double and later Kylie Strand brought two home with a single.
A throwing error by the Tigers in the second led to Newman taking the lead back for good at 6-5. Two more runs were unearned in that frame. The final three runs of the game for Newman were unearned, picking up two in the third and one in the fifth.
Carrie Clarke took the loss, allowing nine runs (two earned) on 11 hits and three walks. She struck out three. Newman pitcher Kate Smith settled in after a rough first inning, holding the Tigers scoreless the rest of the way. She allowed 12 hits (half of that total in the first inning) with two walks and two strikeouts.
Fort Hays State will host Nebraska-Kearney in the final MIAA doubleheader of the season on Saturday (Apr. 22) at Tiger Stadium. The doubleheader, which will serve as Senior Day, starts at 2 pm.