March 10, 2014

Bulldogs Suffer Two Five-Run Losses To Highly-Regarded Competition In Florida

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team played a pair of games for the third day in a row, but dropped two competitive tilts on Monday (March 10) at the annual Florida Rebel Spring Games being held in Winter Haven, Fla.

After playing a late afternoon twinbill on Sunday, the Bulldogs were right back on the diamond early Monday morning at the Auburndale Complex and suffered a 6-1 setback in the first game to nationally fifth-ranked Augustana (S.D.), a Division II school that notched its 10th win already of the year with the triumph.

FSU then squared off against Southwest Minnesota State during late morning competition, but came out on the short end of a 5-0 score.

In the opening game of the day against the Vikings, Augustana used a grand slam home run in the bottom of the sixth inning from Jordan Schaffer to account for four of its six runs in the outing. The Vikings scored all six runs in the frame as they moved to 10-2 overall this season.

Along with Schaffer's long ball to left field, which plated four runs, the Vikings also received a stellar performance from pitcher Carley Pickett, who allowed only a single Bulldog run and five total hits while striking out six batters.

Ferris State scored first in the contest to take a 1-0 lead as senior Amy Dunleavy doubled down the left field line to drive in FSU's only run of the day. FSU's other four hits in the opener came from outfielders Alyssa Smith and Rachael Gabrielson along with second baseman Michelle Tononi and first baseman Megan Galganski. Along with Dunleavy, Smith also recorded a double in the contest.

Dunleavy pitched the opener for the Bulldogs and hurled five and one-third innings with six runs allowed on six hits. She totaled two strikeouts and three walks in the game before giving way to freshman Megan Hiler, who gave up only a single hit and no runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Ferris State then squared off against the nation's 12th-ranked Mustangs in the second game of the morning, but SMSU's ALex O'Connor tossed a three-hit complete-game shutout to keep the Bulldogs at bay for her team's first win of the year.

The Bulldogs surrendered four runs in the top of the second inning and allowed only a single run the rest of the way in the top of the fifth along with five total hits for the game. However, FSU was limited to only three total hits of its own in the loss.

The Bulldogs' game two hits came from Tononi and Dunleavy along with third baseman Bailey Darwin. FSU left nine total runners on base in the contest and the Mustangs got a home run from Jazmyne Neely to spark them at the plate.

O'Connor threw all seven frames for Southwest Minnesota State and struck out four while walking five for the outing. Meanwhile, Cara DeLange tossed three innings for the Bulldogs and suffered the loss after giving up four runs on three hits with five strikeouts and four walks. Hiler threw four innings and allowed only a single run on two hits with three K's.

Ferris State fell to 2-5 overall this season with the loss after having won two of its first three games.

The Bulldogs, who have six games remaining at the Florida Rebel Spring Games, will take Tuesday off before returning to the field on Wednesday (March 12) for a two-game set. FSU faces Concordia-St. Paul at 9 a.m. (ET) before meeting St. Cloud State (Minn.) in an 11 a.m. (ET) non-league tilt at Winter Haven.

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