A combined six runs in the first three innings was all the Ferris State University softball team would need as the Bulldogs cruised to a 7-1 decision over Slippery Rock (Pa.) this Sunday (March 6) afternoon in Florida Rebel Spring Games Tournament action at Kissimmee, Fla.
The victory represented the second straight for Ferris State which evened its overall record to 2-2 this spring.
Following a quiet first inning, Ferris State's bats came alive in the top of the second inning. Junior first baseman Chelsea Morris (Jenison) got things going with a double to left center field and senior catcher Rachel Mueller (Milford/Santa Clarita Valencia) followed with a one-out triple down the left field line to score Morris with the game's first run. Senior shortstop Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints) laid down a RBI bunt single which allowed Mueller to cross home plate to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.
Ferris State continued to display lively bats in the next inning by tallying four runs on three hits and was also aided by three Slippery Rock errors. Chelsea Morris knocked in the first run with a double to right center field before Rachel Mueller picked up a pair of RBIs via a sacrifice to score both junior third baseman Makenzi Peterson (Big Rapids) and Chelsea Morris. The fourth run in the inning came off the bat of Lynsay Weaver, who belted a double into the right center field gap which scored Rachel Mueller.
The Bulldogs increased their lead to 7-0 with a single run in the fourth inning which occurred on an RBI infield single to shortstop by Makenzi Peterson. Sophomore center fielder Morgan Kramerich (Crest Hill, Ill./Lockport) reached first base on a bunt single and proceeded to steal second base with one out. Peterson hit sharply to shortstop which allowed Kramerich to score on the throw to first base. Slippery Rock averted the shutout by scoring a run on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Sophomore hurler Dana Bowler (Lockport, Ill.) went all seven innings and allowed four hits while striking out seven to earn the win. Slippery Rock's Shauna Walker started in the circle and suffered the loss despite fanning six Bulldog batters in five innings.
Ferris State, which outhit SRU 10-4 in the contest, received a pair of two-hit outings from Chelsea Morris and Lynsay Weaver. Rachel Mueller's three RBIs lead the Bulldogs while Weaver registered two RBIs in the six-run decision over The Rock.
The Bulldogs will face Mount Olive (N.C.) for the first time this Monday (March 7) in a Florida Rebel Spring Games Tournament tilt with the opening pitch slated for 9 a.m. (EST). Ferris State then battles nationally 24th-ranked Lewis (Ill.) in its second game of the day, beginning at 11 a.m. (EST).
Notes: The Bulldogs have outscored their opponent 13-3 in the third inning this season, which included a four-run output against Slippery Rock . . . FSU has posted double-digit hits twice this campaign - 14 total versus Southern Indiana (March 5) and 10 against Slippery Rock (March 6) . . . Morgan Kramerich, who has a team-high six base hits in four games this season, is eight hits away from posting her 50th career hit.