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Tiger women roll in MIAA quarterfinal -3/6/2015, 5:13 PM

Vitztum, TMP boys storm by Colby -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

Mickelson could play another big role for KU -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

Hoxie ties record, has bigger goals in mind -3/6/2015, 11:05 AM

Berens' big night keys HHS win -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

Thursday's prep basketball boxscores -3/6/2015, 10:27 AM

MLS and players reach deal -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

KU's Ellis out vs. OU -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

Kacperska ready to step up -3/5/2015, 10:58 AM

Gregorian: Royals' bats come alive in exhibition -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

Wichita State's Wessel, Carter chosen for MVC's Most-Improved Team -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

TV analyst Mark Adams loves the MVC -3/5/2015, 10:57 AM

Bills get their workhorse back in LeSean McCoy -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Perry Ellis will miss regular season finale -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Kansas rallies, wins Big 12 outright -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Wildcats have shot at tourney? -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Lehman, Hobson collect MIAA honors -3/4/2015, 1:44 PM

Two headed to nationals for Tiger track -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Tiger softball earns Tuesday sweep -3/3/2015, 7:45 PM

Season ends for FHSU men -3/3/2015, 10:20 AM

Claflin great Jackie Stiles inducted into NFHS Hall of Fame -3/3/2015, 10:19 AM

KU's Big 12 streak one for the ages -3/3/2015, 10:10 AM

FHSU's Keehn wins second MIAA title in track -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Wessel continues to spark Shockers -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Ronda Rousey's fast work, like at UFC 184, a big draw -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Minnie Minoso's love of baseball never waned -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

FHSU wrestling sending four to nationals -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Kansas State rallies late to put away Iowa State -3/1/2015, 9:33 AM

No. 8 Kansas holds on to defeat Texas, 69-64 -3/1/2015, 9:31 AM

Wichita State captures MVC crown by beating Northern Iowa -3/1/2015, 9:30 AM

Ellis' Younger cruises through Friday at 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Hays High's Deterding second in 4A -3/1/2015, 9:58 AM

Norton wins title with backside points -3/1/2015, 9:36 AM

Hoxie's Porsch repeats in 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:43 AM

FHSU splits at Northeastern State -3/1/2015, 9:41 AM

HHS girls win on senior night -3/1/2015, 9:40 AM

HHS boys roll by Great Bend -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Class 3-2-1A State Wrestling finals results -2/28/2015, 9:37 AM

Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
Tiger softball set for MIAA tourney

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Tiger softball set for MIAA tourney

Published on -4/30/2014, 10:13 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University softball coach Erin Kinberger sat in her office one morning last week and discussed the NCAA Division II Central Region rankings. FHSU has remained No. 8 in the first two regional polls; the top eight in each region advance to the NCAA Division II tournament. Like many, Kinberger is slightly uncertain how the rankings are constructed.

"I know we are good enough to go the region and compete," Kinberger said. "There is no doubt about that. I just didn't know if other people were going to see the same thing. The region is always such a cluster in terms of it's hard to understand where you are going to really be. If it was black and white, it would be a lot better, but it's just not."

Starting Thursday, FHSU can cement a spot in the NCAA tournament -- or leave the choice in the hands of the regional committee. The Tigers, which completed the regular season 28-18, 17-9 MIAA, received the No. 4 seed for the conference tournament.

FHSU will play fifth-seeded University of Central Missouri (27-21, 14-12 MIAA) in the first round of the double elimination tournament. Start time is 6 p.m. at the Blue Valley Recreation Complex in Blue Springs, Mo. Fort Hays is the defending conference tournament champion, was second in 2011 and 13-7 collectively in the last four tournaments.

The Central Region consists of the MIAA, Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and Great American Conference. The winners of all three conference tournaments earn bids.

"Excited is an understatement," junior right-hander Kelsey Kimminau said.

Fort Hays is one of four MIAA teams ranked in the top eight regionally with the latest poll due out this afternoon. Emporia State is No. 1, University of Central Oklahoma is No. 5 and Missouri Western stands sixth.

The MIAA usually doesn't qualify four teams for the NCAA tournament, but this year could be an exception.

Barring upsets, Fort Hays stands a solid chance to reach the NCAA field. The Tigers have 17 in-region losses, while Southern Arkansas and East Central, ranked ninth and tenth, respectively, have at least 20.

"Both us and Mo. West probably deserve to go to the region, in my opinion," Kinberger said.

Last week and following Saturday's senior day doubleheader sweep against University of Nebraska-Kearney, multiple Fort Hays players were excited to play Missouri Western again this week.

"Obviously when we face them in the tournament, we are going to know, not only are we fighting for that game, but that it's probably going to have some regional standings as well," Kinberger said. "I look forward to the opportunity to play them and earn our way through the conference tournament and into the region."

Fort Hays and Missouri Western have met up in multiple big games the last four years, including at least one meeting in every conference tournament. Since the start of the 2011 season, FHSU is 4-7 against the Griffons and All-American right-hander Jackie Bishop, who is 5-3 with a 1.63 earned-run average in her career against the Tigers.

In 2011, FHSU went 1-2 against the Griffons, including a 3-2 win in the conference tournament.

Two years ago, FHSU finished 1-3 versus Missouri Western, including a season-ending 14-5 loss to the Griffons. In 2013, Fort Hays went 3-0 against the Griffons, including two classic wins against Bishop. FHSU defeated Bishop 2-1 in 12 innings and then 3-0 in the MIAA tournament.

This season, Bishop beat FHSU twice, 3-0 and 5-2, on April 4 in a doubleheader in St. Joseph, Mo.

"Jackie Bishop, she is a great pitcher and we definitely want another chance at her, especially since our bats are getting back to what Fort Hays softball is like, and we are ready," sophomore designated player Tori Beltz said.

The first hurdle is the Mules. Fort Hays opened the MIAA slate with four straight home wins against University of Central Missouri (11-3, 8-6) and Southwest Baptist (Mo.) University   (9-5, 6-0) on March 9-10. FHSU hasn't won four in a row over a weekend since. It would take at least four victories to win a championship weekend.

"We want to start the season that way and finish the season that way, too," Beltz said. "That would be awesome."

This marks the first time FHSU and UCM have met up in the conference tournament since the first game in 2010. Jennies senior infielder Braylyn Bivens, a returning all-conference player, missed the first matchup against the Tigers with a hamstring injury, but has played in 33 games.

Junior Jakki Prater paces Central Missouri with a .366 average, 20 homers and 58 RBIs. She is two away from tying the school mark for single season RBIs and four away from tying the MIAA home run record. Prater is 15-11 with a 4.11 earned-run average, while junior Katie Shockley stands 11-4, 3.64 with a no-hitter.

FHSU counters with sophomore Paxton Duran (16-8, 3.01 ERA, one no-hitter) and junior Kelsey Kimminau (10-7, 2.97 ERA). Sophomore second baseman Courtney Dobson carries a team-high .350 average.

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