Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team advanced to the 2012 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Championship Round after splitting two games on Saturday (April 28) in day two action at Findlay, Ohio.
FSU suffered a 7-6 loss to Wayne State in Saturday morning's winner's bracket final, but came back to knock top-seeded rival Grand Valley State out of the tournament with a 2-0 triumph in an elimination game on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs and Wayne State will square again on Sunday (April 29) morning in the GLIAC Tournament title round at 10 a.m. (ET). FSU must beat the unbeaten Warriors twice in the double-elimination format to win the crown. The second game, if necessary, will start at 12 p.m. (ET).
In Saturday's contest against Wayne State, the Warriors jumped out to a 7-0 advantage after four innings. The Bulldogs cut the margin to 7-2 in the top of the fifth before a weather delay followed. After the two-plus hour delay, FSU managed a late rally to post four more runs in their final at-bat in the seventh but could get no closer.
The Bulldogs outhit WSU 10-7 for the game. However, Wayne State struck for five runs in the second to help build the big early lead.
FSU junior pitcher Dana Bowler took the loss in game one after giving up six runs on four hits in one and two-thirds innings. Emily Carlson came on in relief and gave up only a single run on three hits over four and a third innings. Together, they combined for two strikeouts and two walks.
Offensively, senior Makenzi Peterson along with freshman Michelle Tononi and Lindsey Pettit both tallied two hits each in the opener. Junior designated player Amy Dunleavy drove in a pair of runs. Both Dunleavy and Pettit homered for the Bulldogs while Morgan Kramerich and Chelsea Morris had triples. Peterson and senior Stephanie Dusendang both doubled.
Sam Cain improved to 20-10 on the year for WSU with the pitching win. She went the distance and struck out four with no walks. Alison Allen had a home run and two RBI's to pace the Warriors at the plate while Rebecca Ryan knocked in three runs.
The Bulldogs bounced back after the loss to Wayne State to top 20th-ranked Grand Valley State for the second time in the tournament. FSU improved to 31-23 on the year with the victory. Both teams had five hits apiece.
FSU scored a single run in the third and tallied one more in the sixth to account for the only scoring in the contest. Meanwhile, Dunleavy threw all seven innings in the circle for the Bulldogs and posted the shutout win over the Lakers to improve her record to 11-8 on the year. She walked three and struck out two.
GVSU's ace Hannah Santora dropped to 23-4 overall this campaign with the loss after giving up both runs on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts over seven innings.
The winner of Sunday's GLIAC Tournament will receive the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.