March 30, 2013

Ferris State Softball Runs Winning Streak To Six-Straight With Sweep

Big Rapids, Mich. - Senior pitcher Dana Bowler hurled two complete games as the Ferris State University softball team ran its winning streak to six consecutive games by sweeping Walsh University in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Saturday (March 30).

Ferris State took game one by a 3-2 score in eight innings and then held off Walsh in the nightcap with a 1-0 triumph.

For the second-straight day, the two games were played at the new Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex at Davenport University in Caledonia, Mich. FSU had previously swept Lake Erie on Friday to open the four-game "homestand" in the Grand Rapids area after the two games were moved from Ferris State's home field in Big Rapids due to field conditions.

In the opening game, Ferris State battled back from a 2-0 deficit.  The Bulldogs scored twice in the fifth and then won the contest in the bottom of the eighth inning.

FSU loaded the bases in the eighth and Walsh went to a pitching change. However, Marissa Bondoni came on in relief and her first pitch hit FSU's Michelle Tononi, which gave the Bulldogs the victory.

Tononi accounted for one of the Bulldogs' runs with her first home run of the season on a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth.  She recorded a game-high two RBI's in the contest after her homer and the final winning run by being hit.

FSU received two hits from senior second baseman Lainee Clay and senior catcher Liz Hamming.  Junior Amy Dunleavy along with Alex Wittman and Tononi each had a hit apiece. Tononi's home run was the game's only extra base hit.  Clay accounted for FSU's third run.

Bowler earned the win in game one for the Bulldogs by going the distance.  She had 10 strikeouts and walked only three while giving up four hits to the Cavaliers.

FSU had seven total hits in the opener and also benefited from a pair of Walsh errors.  Three Bulldogs were also hit by pitches, including Tononi to end the game.

Erin Ebert pitched the initial seven and one-third innings for Walsh and had eight strikeouts with three walks.  FSU left 10 runners on base in the first game while Walsh did so five times.

Game two was virtually an even contest much of the way. Ferris State scored in the top of the fourth inning of game two to break a 0-0 tie as Clay doubled to start the inning before eventually scoring on a sacrifice bunt from Dunleavy.

Walsh had a chance to knot the game in the bottom of the sixth after a triple from Chelsey Testa, but FSU's Taylor Verbic and Hamming teamed up to throw out the tying run out at the plate on a hit down the third base line.

The Bulldogs had only three hits in the nightcap, but Bowler allowed only four hits from the Cavaliers as she went the distance for the second game in a row.  She had eight strikeouts in game two and walked only two while tossing all seven innings.

In addition to Clay's double, the Bulldogs received hits from Alyssa Smith and Wittman.  Dunleavy accounted for the game's lone RBI.

Walsh's Casi Rohr pitched game two and struck out seven while walking four for the Cavaliers, who fell to 7-7 overall and 0-4 in the GLIAC.

Ferris State improved to 13-7 on the season and 6-2 in conference play with the sweep.

The Bulldogs are slated to host Lake Superior State on Tuesday, April 2, at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids if weather permits.  Opening pitch for game one of the league twinbill is scheduled for 3 p.m. (ET).

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