The Ferris State University softball team completed an impressive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader sweep of the nation's 17th-ranked team as effective pitching and hitting lead the Bulldogs to a 2-0 triumph against Saginaw Valley State this Saturday (April 24) in the nightcap at the SVSU Athletic Complex in University Center, Mich.
The victory marked the fifth in the last six outings for the Bulldogs, who improve their overall record to 22-14 and 13-7 in the GLIAC. Saginaw Valley State fell to 23-10 overall and 10-8 in league play with the two losses for the day.
A pitcher's duel between senior Kayle Stevenson (Holland/West Ottawa) and Saginaw Valley State's Kari Bowlby went on for the first five-plus innings of game two. Ferris State was able to break through in the bottom of the fifth inning to snap a scoreless tie with a run on three hits. Sophomore third baseman Makenzi Peterson (Big Rapids) initiated the scoring for FSU with a double to left field and moved to third base following senior designated player Rhea Flores' (Dearborn Heights/Southgate Anderson) infield single. Following a walk by Bowlby to sophomore first baseman Chelsea Morris (Jenison), junior catcher Rachel Mueller (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) smacked the ball up the middle for a RBI single which scored Peterson with the contest's first run and gave Ferris State a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs would come right back in the next stanza with a sixth-inning insurance run off Bowlby to go up 2-0. Senior second baseman Amanda Harrington (St. Joseph/Stevensville-Lakeshore) and senior outfielder Rachel Wade (Canton) lead off with back-to-back singles. The two proceeded to advance a base on Wade's single with a SVSU fielding error. Freshman outfielder Morgan Kramerich (Crest Hill, Ill./Lockport) put down a sacrifice bunt which allowed Harrington to score from third. Ferris almost picked up another run in the sixth frame but Rachel Wade was thrown out at the plate on a fielder's choice.
Kayle Stevenson (10-6), who notched her team-leading fifth shutout of the spring, retired the Cardinals in order for the seventh to pick up the decision. Stevenson gave up only three SVSU hits while fanning three and walking one in a complete-game performance. The Cardinals were unable to tally a base hit off the left-handed throwing Stevenson until the top of the fifth inning with two in the frame.
FSU, which had eight hits in the game and left 11 runners on base, was paced by Rachel Mueller and Rachel Wade with two hits each. Mueller chipped in with the Bulldogs' lone RBI of the encounter.
The sweep by Ferris State avenged a pair of home setbacks (2-0 and 4-1) to the Cardinals earlier this season (March 31) at Big Rapids, Mich.
Ferris State will hope to pass another test this Sunday (April 25) versus the nationally ninth-ranked Wayne State Warriors in Detroit, Mich. The league doubleheader gets underway with game one at noon (EDT) followed by the second game at 2 p.m. (EDT). The two games will represent the first meetings between the teams this 2010 regular season.