Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team opened its four-game Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home series against Saginaw Valley State off on the right foot as the Bulldog swept the Cardinals in a league doubleheader on Saturday (April 21) at the FSU Softball Field.
The Bulldogs recorded a 5-1 win over SVSU in game one of the afternoon twinbill and then registered an exciting 8-7 triumph in eight innings during the second contest.
The two teams will wrap up the four-game series with another doubleheader on Sunday (April 22) beginning at 10 a.m. (ET).
In the opening game on Saturday, the Bulldogs struck for two runs in the third and added three more in the fourth en route to the 5-1 triumph. Ferris State posted eight hits to four for the Cardinals.
Junior pitcher Dana Bowler tossed all seven innings of game one and struck out nine SVSU hitters while walking two in registering the four-hit victory.
FSU's designated player Amy Dunleavy posted two hits, scored two runs and drove in two more in the opener for the Bulldogs. She also notched her seventh double of the campaign while catcher Liz Hamming blasted her ninth homer of the year.
Alexa Gehris took the loss in the circle for Saginaw Valley State after giving up all five runs and seven hits to go with four walks and only two strikeouts. Kayla Kazmierski pitched the final two and one-third innings of relief and allowed only a single hit. Jordan Randall accounted for the Cardinals' lone RBI of game one and had two hits to pace SVSU, including a double.
In the nightcap, FSU again built a 5-1 advantage with two runs in the third, a single run in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Ferris State took its 5-1 lead into the Cardinals' final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh and had two outs against Saginaw Valley State when Lindsay Hayward hit a grand slam homer to tie up the contest and force extra innings.
FSU wasted little time regaining the advantage in the eighth. Lainee Clay hit an RBI single to account for the initial run and Lindsey Pettit followed with a two RBI shot to center field as FSU posted three runs on four hits in the frame to build an 8-5 lead.
Again, Saginaw Valley State made things interesting as the Cardinals answered with two runs and had the bases loaded with Hayward again at the plate with two outs. This time, however, she flew out to left field to end the contest as FSU prevailed.
Bowler led the effort in the circle again as she tossed the first seven and one-third innings of the second game to follow up on her first game performance. She had seven strikeouts and walked three while giving up 10 hits. Emily Carlson came on in relief to pick up the final two outs and had both a strikeout and a walk.
Senior Makenzi Peterson tallied three hits in game two with Pettit, senior first baseman Chelsea Morris and senior outfielder Stephanie Dusendang notching two hits each. Pettit accounted for three RBI's while Morgan Kramerich and Morris both had two each.
In the second game, the Bulldogs received a pair of home runs as both Morris and Pettit had one apiece in the outing. Kramerich also recorded her sixth double of the year.
FSU outhit SVSU 12-10 in game two as the Bulldogs registered seven hits off of starter Jillian Williamson and five off of Kazmierski in relief. Williamson threw six innings and posted five strikeouts compared to Kazmierski's three K's in two frames.
SVSU was led at the plate by Hayward's four RBI's on three hits in game two. However, the Cardinals left nine runners on base in the second game to only two for the Bulldogs.
Saturday's doubleheader represented FSU's annual "Senior Day" contest as the Bulldogs honored the senior trio of Peterson, Morris and Dusendang prior to the opening game. The three seniors will play their final two scheduled regular-season contests at home on Sunday as FSU wraps up the league series versus Saginaw Valley State.
Ferris State improved to 25-21 overall along with 16-12 in the GLIAC by virtue of Saturday's sweep. Meanwhile, the Cardinals dropped to 18-24 overall and 11-17 in conference action.