Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team received a pair of complete game shutouts from senior ace pitcher Dana Bowler and some timely hits to sweep Findlay by identical 2-0 scores in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader on Friday (April 25) at the FSU Softball Field.
The Bulldogs scored two runs in the opening inning of game one and scored the day's only other two runs in the top half of the seventh inning in game two, but the four total runs proved to be enough production behind Bowler's double-victory day in the circle.
Ferris State ran its winning streak to four consecutive games while Bowler has now emerged with a win in her last nine appearances to date as the Bulldogs' pitcher this season. She improved to 17-6 overall on the year with the back-to-back wins in front of the home fans.
In game one, the Bulldogs scored the only two runs of the contest in the bottom half of the first inning. Senior Lainee Clay singled in a run on a bunt with junior Amy Dunleavy following soon after with an RBI single to left field as the Bulldogs notched two runs on five hits in the inning.
Both teams totaled six hits in the opener with FSU's production coming on single hits apiece from Alyssa Smith, Morgan Kramerich, Lindsey Pettit and Michelle Tononi along with both Clay and Dunleavy. Both Pettit and Tononi led the way with doubles as Ferris State picked up the win.
Bowler threw all seven innings of the first game and pitched a complete game shutout by allowing no runs on six hits. She had 11 strikeouts and walked only two batters as the Oilers failed to put a run on the board.
Ferris State came back in the second game and posted another hard-fought 2-0 win as Bowler did not give up a run on eight total hits. She had only two strikeouts and three walks in the nightcap, but received stellar defensive play behind her as the Bulldogs twice registered double plays to avoid potential Oiler runs. UF left 11 runners on base in the second game.
The Bulldogs pounded out seven total hits, but none were more important than the three the Bulldogs registered in the top half of the seventh inning. FSU broke the scoreless tie and scored the first runs in more than 12 total combined innings of the doubleheader by producing two runs on three hits. Pettit singled thru the right side and advanced to third when senior Liz Hamming doubled off the right field fence. Tononi followed with an RBI groundout to second base and pinch runner Jordan Maxwell scored soon after on an RBI single to left field from Alex Wittman.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Oilers managed to put two runners on base, but Bowler gave up only a single hit before forcing a pop up to end the game.
Both Hamming and Tononi registered doubles in game two while Pettit led the way with a pair of hits. Smith, Clay and Wittman also had a hit each for the Bulldogs.
The two wins came in only the Bulldogs' seecond home doubleheader of the season and first action in Big Rapids since an April 3 league home sweep over Lake Superior State. FSU also celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IX with a special event during the day and a ceremonial first pitch from former Bulldog head coach and Hall of Fame member Monica Folske.
Ferris State improved to 24-12 overall and 16-6 in league play with the two wins while UF fell to 25-11 overall and 13-9 in GLIAC action. The two wins were also important regional ones for the Bulldogs as the Oilers were ranked fourth in the most recent NCAA Midwest Regional Rankings.
The Bulldogs will play for the third day in a row on Saturday (April 27) as they host the Hillsdale Chargers in a league home doubleheader at the FSU Softball Field. The first pitch for game one is set for 1 p.m. (ET) with game two following at 3 p.m. (ET). FSU will also honor its senior class as part of Senior Day activities on Saturday and will hold a special "Little League" Softball Day.
Then, on Sunday (April 28), the Bulldogs close out league regular-season action by hosting the Northwood Timberwolves in their third-straight homestand scheduled to start at 2 p.m. (ET) for the opener and 4 p.m. (ET) for the second game.