Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team ended its weekend on a winning note as the Bulldogs pulled out a victory in the nightcap to split a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader against rival Grand Valley State in Allendale.
The Lakers beat FSU to open second day action in the four-game series with a narrow 8-7 triumph in Sunday's (April 1) game one of the twinbill at the GVSU Softball Field. However, the Bulldogs responded with an 11-6 victory in the second contest to earn the split on the day.
With the game two win, the Bulldogs improved to 12-16 overall and 3-7 in conference play while nationally 14th-ranked Grand Valley State dipped to 27-5 overall and 10-2 in GLIAC action.
The Lakers opened the afternoon by scoring in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a tie and take the win in the first contest. FSU had built a 7-3 edge after five and a half innings, but the Lakers scored twice in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth frames to enter the seventh all tied up at seven runs apiece.
In the seventh inning, the Lakers held the Bulldogs to no hits and only one runner. Then, in the bottom of the frame, the Lakers scored on a wild pitch to pull out the victory.
Grand Valley State tallied 12 hits to 11 for FSU. The Bulldogs also left nine runners on the bags in game one.
Junior Dana Bowler pitched the first five and two-thirds innings for the Bulldogs while giving up 10 hits and seven runs. She struck out four and walked only one before giving way to Emily Carlson, who suffered the setback despite allowing only two hits and a single run.
Andrea Nicholson was the winning pitcher for the Lakers as she also threw five and two-thirds innings. FSU posted six hits and three runs off Nicholson, who improved to 12-3 on the year with three strikeouts and two walks. Kayla Hurd was the relief pitcher and allowed five hits and four runs.
Four Bulldogs had two hits each in game one as Morgan Kramerich, Amy Dunleavy, Lainee Clay and Michelle Tononi all pounded out multiple hits. Makenzi Peterson and Liz Hamming both doubled while Clay hit two homers in the contest for FSU and posted three RBI's. Peterson drove in two runs as well.
Nellie Kosola netted three hits for Grand Valley State while both Briauna Taylor and Miranda Cleary posted two hits with two RBI's. Maggie Kopas also brought home two runs. Cleary's two RBI's came on homers while Taylor had one shot out of the park.
In the second game, the Bulldogs struck for six runs in the bottom of the second and added four more in the fourth while pounding out 13 hits in an 11-6 victory. The Lakers had 10 hits in the nightcap.
Cara DeLange picked up the game two victory for the Bulldogs in the circle as she threw three and two-thirds innings. She allowed four hits and three runs, but also had three strikeouts. Dunleavy started the game and gave up three runs on four hits in one and one-third inning as the Lakers took an early 3-0 advantage in the top of the second. Finally, Bowler threw the final two innings and struck out two Laker batters.
For Grand Valley State, Hannah Santora dropped to 12-2 overall this campaign as she gave up all 11 runs on 10 hits and had no strikeouts in three innings pitched before giving way to Nicholson, who tossed three scoreless innings off the bench and allowed only three hits.
Offensively, senior Lindsey Pettit had three hits and drove in two runs for the Bulldogs while also scoring twice. Peterson, Kramerich, Clay and Hamming all added two hits each.
Dunleavy hit a home run for the Bulldogs' only extra base hit of the contest.
Both Tonya Calkins and Emily Holt had two hits each for Grand Valley State.
The Bulldogs will play their next six games at the friendly confines of the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids. FSU oepns action this week with a league twinbill against Northwood on Wednesday, April 4, starting at 3:30 p.m. (ET).
Then, Ferris State hosts Hillsdale in GLIAC play on Friday and Saturday, April 6-7. Friday's action starts at 3:30 p.m. (ET) with Saturday's doubleheader scheduled for a 1 p.m. (ET) start.