Big Rapids, Mich. - A late comeback fell short for the Ferris State University softball team as the Bulldogs dropped a 6-4 decision to visiting Saginaw Valley State in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play at home on Saturday (April 12) at the FSU Softball Field.
The Cardinals scored five runs in the first three innings and held off FSU for the two-run victory in the opening game of the scheduled conference twinbill. Game two was called off after only one FSU batter in the top half of the first inning due to heavy rain and wet fields and no makeup date has yet been set.
The Bulldogs, who opened a 14-game league homestand by splitting a pair of games versus Malone in their first home action of the season on Friday (April 11), fell behind 5-0 after three innings of action versus the Cardinals as SVSU scored twice in the second and added three more runs in the third.
However, the Bulldogs responded as Ferris State scored twice in both the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings to pull back within a single run. In the fourth inning, the Bulldogs finally got on the board as senior Amy Dunleavy scored on a passed ball and sophomore Rachel Gabrielson drove in Megan Galganski soon after on a RBI fly out to left field.
In the fifth frame, Dunleavy homered with a two-run shot to center field as the Bulldogs narrowed the gap.
Saginaw Valley State added a single run in the top of the seventh as Ferris State walked in a run. The Bulldogs then put a pair of runners on base in their final at-bat and had both in scoring position at second and third base before the Cardinals ended the contest and preserved the win with back-to-back outs.
Both teams finished with seven hits apiece and had a sinlge error in the field. Overall, SVSU left 12 runners on base while the Bulldogs stranded nine on the day.
Galganski had a pair of doubles for the Bulldogs and totaled three hits overall while Dunleavy posted a pair of hits and a team-leading two RBI's with her second homer of the campaign. Both Casey Bias and Taylor Verbic each had a hit as well to help the FSU cause.
Saginaw Valley State was led offensively by Kari Knight and Abby Stoner with two runs drove in apiece. The Cardinals' seven hits came from seven different players, including Stoner's third home run of the year.
Sarah Vrabel picked up the win for Saginaw Valley State in the circle after giving up four runs on six hits in four and one-third innings of work. She had five strikeouts and walked three. Alexa Gehrls earned the save in relief while allowing only a single hit and no runs with three K's and two walks in two and two-thirds innings.
On the Ferris State side, Cara DeLange took the loss despite tossing five innings. She had three strikeouts and four walks while giving up five runs on six hits. Megan Hiler threw one and two-thirds innings of relief with five walks and two strikeouts in addition to allowing only a single hit and run. Stacy Thompson threw the final one-third inning for the Bulldogs.
Rain hampered play most of the day and picked up in intensity as the opening game wore on. The two teams returned to the field after a brief break before it was stopped.
Saginaw Valley State moved to 19-5 overall and 11-2 in the GLIAC this season while FSU fell to 9-11 overall 4-5 in conference action.
The Bulldogs have also announced the cancellation of Sunday's (April 13) scheduled GLIAC twinbill at home against Wayne State due to the weather conditions.
With Sunday's cancellation, the Bulldogs will now continue their league homestand on Tuesday (April 15) as the Bulldogs host Ashland in a rescheduled twinbill beginning at 2 p.m. (ET). Ferris State then hosts Ohio Dominican on Thursday (April 17) starting at 3:30 p.m. (ET) before Tiffin comes to town for a league double dip on Saturday (April 19) beginning at 1 p.m. (ET).