An adage of good pitching usally results in success applied to the Ferris State University softball team's 2-1 victory over the Northwood Timberwolves this Sunday (May 1) in the opener of an afternoon Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader at the FSU Varsity Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich.
The Bulldogs relied on the pitching arm of sophomore Dana Bowler (Lockport, Ill.), who held Northwood to five hits while striking out a career-high 12 batters to increase her season mark to 14-9 in the circle. Northwood's pitcher Megan Eddy (18-4) was almost equally effective as she gave up two runs on four base hits while fanning three and issuing four walks.
Both teams snapped a scoreless tie in the second inning with a run apiece. The Timberwolves tallied their lone run of the contest on a two-out double by catcher Erica Weiler to left center field off Bowler. However, Northwood's one-run lead evaporated in the bottom half of the frame as senior catcher Rachel Mueller (Milford/Santa Clarita, Calif. Valencia) delivered a run-scoring single into left centerfield with two outs to score junior outfielder Stephanie Dusendang (Comstock Park/Rockford) from second base. Dusendang reached base with an one-out single through the left side of the Timberwolves' infield and then advanced to second base on an Eddy wild pitch in the Bulldogs' next at bat.
Ferris State recorded the winning run in the bottom of the fourth inning albeit on a wild pitch. The Bulldogs positioned themselves to score the go-ahead run earlier in the frame but freshman pinch-runner Brittney Buti (Niles) was called out at home on a fielder's choice throw from NU first baseman Sam Zaborowski to catcher Erica Weiler. However, Ferris State netted the game-winning run as sophomore designated player Lindsey Pettit (Portland) scored on a wild pitch from third with two outs during sophomore second baseman Lainee Clay's (Wheelersburg, Ohio) at bat.
Northwood would have solid scoring opportunities in both the fifth and seventh innings to tie the game, but Ferris State was able to keep the Timberwolves off the scoreboard. In the fifth, Bowler was able to get an inning-ending groundout with the bases loaded and escaped trouble in the seventh with a strikeout after the Timberwolves had runners at second and first base.
Ferris State, which improved to 20-21 overall and 17-12 in the GLIAC's North Division, received a two-hit performance from junior first baseman Chelsea Morris (Jenison). The Bulldogs would leave six runners stranded on base while Northwood had eight runners left on base.
Notes: Dana Bowler's career-best 12 strikeouts surpasses her 11 total from last season (April 19) at Lake Superior State . . . Chelsea Morris recorded her 15th multiple-hit game performance and her 10th two base hit outing of this season . . . Dana Bowler is five strikeouts away from equalling her career season-high of 118 set a season ago in 20 appearances . . . The Bulldogs have compiled a 6-8 record in one-run games this spring.