The Fort Hays State University softball team traveled down to Bentonville, Ark. this weekend to compete in the Bentonville Tournament. It was a good weekend for the women, as they returned to Hays with a record of 5-6 from the weekend.
Friday (Feb. 15) the softball team first faced Southern Arkansas. Fort Hays dominated the Muleriders in a 7-0 shut out.
Covering third base, redshirt junior Danie Brinkmann went 4-for-4 in the game with three runs and two RBIs.
On the mound for the Tigers was freshman Paxton Duran (3-1). She went the full seven innings with five strikeouts and four walks. Duran gave up seven hits and had one hit by pitch, but allowed no runs.
Following the beating of Southern Arkansas, the women took on Arkansas-Monticello. Though the scoring was not as high, the Tigers still managed to win 3-1.
Brinkmann started the game with an RBI double, scoring freshman Courtney Dobson who reached on a single. The Tigers got their other two points in the fourth inning on a single by junior Callie Wright.
Arkansas-Monticello’s only run came from a Fort Hays fielding error.
Senior Maddie Holub (3-0) finished the game with ten strikeouts and two walks in seven innings. Though one unearned run was allowed, Holub only gave up two hits.
The Tigers were back to work Saturday morning. After a low-scoring second game on Friday, Fort Hays was ready to take some action. The game resulted in an 8-0 win against Southwestern Oklahoma State.
Fort Hays scored half of its points in the first inning, starting with a triple from Holub to score Dobson and junior Bianca Adame. Brinkmann grounded out to the pitcher, but play allowed Holub to come in and score from third.
Duran delivered a double to center field. With Duran in scoring position, frehsman Tori Beltz stepped up and smacked a double of her own to right field, sending in Duran before getting called out at third.
The Tigers scored three more runs in the bottom of the second, not letting up on Southwest Oklahoma State. With two groundouts to start the inning, Adame reached first on a bunt single. Dobson and Holub both reached on singles to left field.
With the bases loaded, Brinkmann singled to score Adame and move the runners up. Sophomore Amanda Vaupel brought in Dobson and Holub with a single, but was unable to reach home before the inning ended.
The women had a break in between games, giving them a chance to prepare for the next matchup against Henderson State. The Tigers beat the Lady Reddies 7-1.
Henderson State was able to score its only run in the first inning, but went scoreless for the rest of the game. Unlike the Lady Reddies, the Tigers scored their seven runs in the last three innings.
Junior Kellsi Olsen got Fort Hays started with a two-run homer. The Tigers scored two more in the sixth inning, then three runs in the seventh with a single from Holub and a pair of doubles from Brinkmann and Vaupel.
Sunday brought the final day of the tournament, but the Tigers were not as sharp in the first game as they were on Friday and Saturday. Fort Hays faced Illinois-Springfield, but fell in an uncharacteristic 1-6 loss. This marked the first loss of the season for the Tigers.
The single run for Fort Hays came in the fourth inning when Holub hit a solo home run.
Duran pitched the full seven innings and gave up six runs on six hits. She walked four and struck out ten, with one wild pitch and three hit by pitches. Duran recorded her first loss on the season.
Bouncing back from the loss, the Tigers took on familiar foe Nebraska-Kearney in the final game of the tournament for a 6-0 victory.
Fort Hays carried a pattern thoughout the game, scoring two runs in one inning, then not scoring in the next, and so on until the game was over.
Holub threw the full seven innings, recording 12 strikeouts and only two walks. In her shutout performance, Holub only allowed four hits.
The Tigers are off to an incredible start this season with a record of 7-1 overall.
The softball team will compete in the NSIC/MIAA Crossover Dome Tournament this coming weekend in Rochester, Minn.