Missed opportunities proved costly for the Ferris State University softball team in a 4-3 loss to Tiffin in Saturday's (April 17) opening game of a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich.
Ferris State, which dropped to 16-12 overall and 7-5 in the conference with the loss, rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning with a pair of runs on one hit to tie the game entering the seventh. Junior catcher Rachel Mueller (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) smacked her second home run this season with a two-run shot well over the left field fence beyond the scoreboard to tie the contest.
Tiffin, which produced eight hits to the Bulldogs' five in the game, was able to tally the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh off freshman pitcher Dana Bowler (Lockport, Ill.). A one-out double by Tiffin's Lauren Mazzuca gave the visitors a runner in scoring position and she would eventually score two batters later when Amanda Temple doubled to left field for the game-winning base hit to score Mazzuca. In the bottom half of the inning, Tiffin relief pitcher Kelly Mayer set down the Bulldogs in order to notch her third save of the season.
Ferris had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third as sophomore third baseman Makenzi Peterson's (Big Rapids) triple to right field scored senior second baseman Amanda Harrington (St. Joseph/Stevensville-Lakeshore), who drew a walk to lead off the frame.
Tiffin scored twice in the fifth on three hits to claim a 2-1 advantage and then added another run in the sixth via a lead off home run to left field by Tiffany Smith which hit the scoreboard on the fly to make it 3-1 Dragons at that point.
The Bulldogs, who left six runners on base, had an opportunity in the fifth to score at least a run. Senior outfielder Rachel Wade (Canton) had to settle for a ground-rule double after hitting the ball down the right field line which went underneath the fence. She would moved over to third base on a wild pitch, but ended up stranded there as Tiffin starting pitcher Abbey Crooksey was able to record the next two outs.
Dana Bowler (5-6) was pegged with the hard-luck loss despite striking out nine and walking two in seven innings. Cooksey (11-5) earned the decision for the Dragons by scattering five hits and fanning three in six innings before yielding to Kelly Mayer, who pitched the final frame.