Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball squad kept pace in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) standings as FSU opened up its weekend slate with a split against league leader and nationally 23rd-ranked Saginaw Valley State on Friday (April 14) at the FSU Softball Field.
The Cardinals took the opener by a tight 4-2 score before the Bulldogs responded in a big way by beating SVSU 15-3 in five innings in the nightcap.
In the opener, Ferris State outhit Saginaw Valley State by an 8-7 margin and held SVSU scoreless for six of the seven innings. However, FSU was hampered by four errors in the field and the Cardinals struck for four runs in the top of the fourth while limiting FSU to only a single run in the second and sixth frames.
Ferris State jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with an RBI hit from Stephanie Neuman in the bottom of the second before SVSU totaled four runs on four hits with two FSU miscues in the fourth. The Bulldogs later got an RBI single from Sarah Johnson in the sixth that scored Neuman, but could not bounce back for the win.
Cather Sarah Meredith had two Bulldog hits in the opener while Neuman also drew two walks in addition to her hit, RBI and run scored. Johnson also had an RBI hit and Meredith crossed the plate once for FSU.
The Bulldogs' Sam Bates tossed all seven innings of game one, allowing four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks. SVSU's Sam Willman had a strong outing with only two runs given up on eight hits in seven innings. She struck out three and walked four.
In game two, Ferris State controlled the action. The Bulldogs broke a scoreless tie with seven runs in the top of the third and then tacked on eight more in the fourth while building a 15-1 margin. SVSU scored twice in the fourth before the Bulldogs held the Cardinals without a run in the fifth to end the game early. FSU totaled 14 hits to six for Saginaw Valley State overall.
The Bulldogs' seven runs in the third came on eight hits while FSU then added eight runs on five hits and two SVSU errors in the fourth.
Offensively, six Bulldog player had two hits apiece in the nightcap including Bates, catcher Emily Reed, third baseman Lexi Hongisto, second baseman Logan Fleming, designated player Bailey Darwin and Neuman. Reed and Fleming both drove in three runs with Neuman and outfielder Emily Smith knocking in two each as part of the hit parade. Reed and Hongisto both doubled.
On the SVSU side, the Cardinals got a solo homer from Courtney Reeves and doubles from Julia Miller along with Kennedi Thomas.
Ferris State's Abby Highway got the pitching win for the Bulldogs as she threw all five innings and allowed only three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Five different SVSU pitchers combined to allow 15 runs on 14 hits with only two K's and four walks.
With the split, FSU improved to 7-7 overall in the GLIAC and the Bulldogs have now split their last 10 conference outings. SVSU held onto the top spot in the GLIAC as the Cardinals are now 10-4 overall in league action following the split.
Ferris State wraps up its weekend action on the road Saturday (April 15) as the Bulldogs visit Northwood for a conference doubleheader in Midland. First pitch for game one is set for 1 p.m. (ET).
Ferris State Posts Decisive Win Over #23 SVSU In Nightcap To Earn League Split Friday