Softball Sets New School Record in Split with Fort Hays State

Pittsburg – The Gorillas had much to celebrate on Saturday, despite a one-run, extra-inning, 6-5, loss in game one. The team celebrated the accomplishments of its four seniors, set and expanded a new team home run record and earned a run rule, 11-3, win in game two.

In her first at bat of the day, freshman Nicole Nease stepped up to the plate and hit a three run home run. It was the 60th home run of the season for the Gorillas and set a new school record. The previous record was 59 set by the 2012 squad. Nease further expanded that record with her ninth home run of the season in game two.

The Gorillas outhit the Tigers in both games, but three Pitt State errors in the first game made the difference.
Three of the six Fort Hays State runs were unearned. In game two, Pitt State outhit the Tigers 15-5 behind strong pitching from Sam Grove.

Nease’s home run in the first inning of game one got the Gorillas off to a 3-0 lead.

It took two innings for the Tigers to tie the game. The visiting team added a run on a hit in the second inning and two runs on a hit and a Gorilla error in the third inning.

The Gorillas got two runs back in the fourth to go up 5-3. Nease leed off the inning with a base hit. She scored on a double by Kylie Harpst. Harpst moved to third on the attempt to get Nease at home, then scored on a wild pitch.

The top of the fifth saw the Tigers add to more run on three hits and an error to tie the game at 5-5.

Fort Hays State got one base runner on in the sixth, other than that one runner, neither team got on base in the sixth, seventh or eighth innings.

The Tigers broke the tie in the top of the ninth on a leadoff yhome run by Callie Wright.

Bailey Letts pinch hit for the Gorillas with two outs in the ninth and drove a base hit up the middle. She moved to second on a wild pitch, putting the tying run in scoring position, but the next batter struck out to end the game with the Gorilla loss.

Pitt State started off scoring right away in game two as well. Bernna George and Cheslyn Mitchell led off with back-to-back base hits. With two outs, George scored on an error by the Tiger third baseman.

Fort Hays took the lead in the second inning as it plated two runs on two hits and a Gorilla error.

The Gorillas had an answer in the bottom half of the inning. Kylie Guthier and Avery Beard started the inning with back-to-back base hits up the middle. George added a one-out base hit. Mitchell hit a bases clearing double to give the Gorillas a 4-2 lead. The team tacked on one more as consecutive hits by Tiffany Brown and McKenzie Rynard scored Mitchell.

Pitt State had another big inning in the third. Again Guthier and Beard led off the inning with base hits. After Guthier’s hit, Fort Hays State brought in a new pitcher. Jordan Bradshaw followed with a walk to load the bases. George knocked a base hit up the middle to score Guthier and a throwing error by the Tiger center fielder allowed Beard to score. Mitchell hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Bradshaw. A Brown ground out moved George to third and she came home on a wild pitch. After Rynard drew a one out walk, Fort Hays State brought in Paxton Duran to face Nease. Duran was the pitcher Nease hit the home run off of in the first game. She again gave Nease a pitch she liked and Nease took it out of the park for her second home run of the day and an 11-2 Gorilla lead.

Fort Hays State used two hits to score a run in the top of the fifth, but it was not enough to reduce the Gorilla lead to less than eight, resulting in an 11-3 win for the home team.

Pitt State will play its final home games of the season on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team will face Newman at 2 and 4 p.m. on Tuesday (April 15) and Drury at 3 and 5 p.m. on Wednesday (April 16).