The Golden Suns softball team dropped its first games of the year to Fort Hays State in a doubleheader Tuesday in Wichita, Kan. Fort Hays State (5-6) defeated Tech (8-2, 2-0 Great American Conference) 1-0 in both matchups.
Tech lost the first game of the series 1-0 in extra innings after a two-hour pitchers’ duel. Sydnee Clark (2-1) was credited the loss when she gave up the game winning hit, although Jalissa Gum pitched four scoreless innings prior to Clark’s appearance in the circle.
Courtney Colunga proved a two-out hit in the top of the first, but a pop up by Gum ended the inning with one runner left on base. Gum entered the circle in the bottom of the inning, striking out the first batter.
Gum walked the following Fort Hays State player, who advanced twice on two wild pitches but was stranded at third after the following batter grounded out.
Kambri Hill walked to start the top of the second but was stranded after two Golden Suns struck out and one popped out. Gum walked the first Fort Hays State player and hit the next but struck out the third batter of the inning. The next reached on a fielder’s choice, and with runners on first and third, Gum forced a ground out to end the inning.
Tech and Fort Hays State both went three-up three-down in the third, and Tech did as well in the top of the fourth. Fort Hays State walked two in the bottom of the fourth but left both on base.
Chelsea Reeves singled to start the fifth, but Tech couldn’t add a run in three more attempts. Clark entered the circle in the fifth in relief for Gum and struck out the first three batters.
Although Fort Hays State changed pitchers in the top of the sixth, all three Golden Suns failed to reach first base.
The bottom of the sixth presented pressure to the Tech defense, as although the first batter grounded out, Clark walked the next two. An additional Fort Hays State player reached on a fielder’s choice, but Clark forced a strikeout and ground out to end the inning with three left on base.
The seventh and eighth innings were three-up three-down, as well as the top of the ninth for Tech. Clark struck out the first Fort Hays State batter but walked the next three. A single ended the game at 1-0.
The second game of the day ended in similar fashion, as Morgan Vaughan (2-1) gave up a single in the eighth for a 1-0 loss.
Tech’s opportunity to score came in the second inning when Hill started with a single, followed by a steal to second and advance to third on a ground out. However, two straight Golden Suns grounded out to strand Hill.
Another opportunity was presented in the fifth inning when Reeves singled to left field, followed with a sacrifice bunt by Ashley Savage to advance Reeves to second. She then advanced to third on a passed ball, but Vaughan struck out to end the inning.
Shanna Davidson singled to start the sixth, but was stranded at second after a pop out and strike out. Reeves singled with one out in the seventh but was also stranded.
Fort Hays State began the bottom of the eighth with a walk and double to advance the runner to third. Vaughn then forced a line out and strike out, but a single to center field ended the extra innings.
The Golden Suns will host Southeastern Oklahoma on Saturday and Sunday.