Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State softball team wrapped up its weekend trip to Ohio with a split against the Tiffin Dragons in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Sunday (April 21) afternoon at Paradiso Fields in Tiffin, Ohio.
The Bulldogs won a thriller in the opening game of the conference doubleheader by taking a 1-0 victory in nine innings, but fell in the nightcap 7-1 against the Dragons.
In game one, shortstop Michelle Tononi doubled down the left field line and eventually scored on an error to break a scoreless tie and account for the game's final run in the top half of the ninth inning. Senior pitcher Dana Bowler then completed a four-hit shutout by striking out two batters in the bottom of the inning and ending the game by forcing a lineout to left field.
Bowler tossed all nine innings and had 10 strikeouts to go with only two walks in earning her 14th victory of the year.
Ferris State posted five hits in the opener and was led at the plate by Tononi's three hits. Her double accounted for the game's only extra-base hit. Both junior Amy Dunleavy and senior Lindsey Pettit also contributed hits for the Bulldogs. FSU left 10 runners on base in game one despite pulling out the triumph and was aided by two Tiffin errors in the field.
In the nightcap, the two teams battled thru three scoreless innings before the Dragons scored twice in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead. They tacked on five more runs in the sixth to push the advantage to seven runs and FSU could muster only a single run in its final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh.
The Dragons pounded out 11 hits to five for the Bulldogs in game two, which included a pair of doubles. Senior Emily Carlson allowed seven runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks before giving way to Dunleavy, who allowed no runs on three hits with two walks.
Ferris State received single base hits from Taylor Verbic, Rachael Gabrielson, Alex Wittman, Pettit and Tononi with Gabrielson recording the squad's only RBI in game two and Alyssa Smith scoring FSU's lone run.
The Bulldogs had five errors in the field in game two.
With the split, Ferris State now owns a 20-12 overall record to date this season and is 12-6 in conference play. Tiffin improved to 16-22 overall and 10-10 in the GLIAC with the game two triumph.
Ferris State, which won four of a possible six road contests over the past three days, will begin a busy week of action at home on Tuesday, April 23, versus Northwood. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) for game one with the nightcap to follow at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids.
The Bulldogs will then visit Saginaw Valley State on Wednesday (April 24) followed by home contests against Findlay and Hillsdale on Friday (April 26) and Saturday (April 27), respectively. The four doubleheaders this week represent the Bulldogs' final league regular-seasons contests of the year prior to the GLIAC Tournament.