The combination of timely hitting and pitching helped the Ferris State University softball team post a 5-2 victory over Northwood this Saturday (May 7) morning and remain in contention for the 2011 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Softball Tournament title.
FSU, which sports a current 2-1 record in GLIAC Tournament play, now advances to play Wayne State Warriors this afternoon at 3 p.m. (EDT) in the elimination bracket at Northwood's Fisher Stadium in Midland, Mich. Wayne State knocked off Grand Valley State, 10-6 in a 10-inning affair, to earn the right to play Ferris State. The Bulldogs are now 23-22 overall this campaign as a result of the win which eliminates Northwood from further GLIAC Tourney play.
The Bulldogs were productive both at the plate and in the pitching circle as Ferris State scored five times in the top of the first inning while pitchers Dana Bowler (Lockport, Ill.) and Amy Dunleavy (Canton) combined to two hit the Timberwolves.
Ferris State, which outhit Northwood 7-2 in the game, exploded out of the gate with its five runs as many hits in the opening frame. Junior third baseman Makenzi Peterson's (Big Rapids) infield single to shortstop scored the contest's first two runs and then three batters later, junior outfielder Stephanie Dusendang (Comstock Park/Rockford) lined a two-RBI double into left centerfield to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead. FSU stretched its advantage to five runs with two outs when senior catcher Rachel Mueller (Milford/Santa Clarita, Calif. Valencia) singled up the middle off Northwood pitcher Megan Eddy to knock in Dusendang.
The five runs proved all Ferris State would need as sophomore Dana Bowler didn't allow a single base hit until the bottom of the fifth inning when Marisa Borkowski singled through the right side of the Bulldog infield.
In the top of the seventh, freshman Amy Dunleavy started off the inning in relief of Bowler but ran into trouble with two outs. Northwood scored its first run when Dunleavy's pitch hit Erica Weiler with the bases loaded and Dana Bowler did likewise to Katherine Johnson to get within 5-2. However, Ferris State succeeded in getting the game's final out on a groundout to second baseman Lainee Clay (Wheelersburg, Ohio) during another bases-loaded situation for the Timberwolves.
Bowler, who improves to 16-10 in the circle this season to date, fanned three and walked one in six and one-third innings of work. Megan Eddy (19-6) recorded five strikeouts and walked two for Northwood, which drops to 26-20-1 overall this spring.
Makenzi Peterson and Stephanie Dusendang led the way for Ferris State as each collected two hits and two RBIs apiece.
The Bulldogs have currently won seven of their last nine outings to date, which includes four of their last five contests to date.