The Ferris State University softball team exploded for 11 runs and 14 base hits in Saturday's (March 5) contest versus Southern Indiana, but it wasn't enough as the Screaming Eagles scored the game winner in the top of the eighth inning to register a 12-11 victory over the Bulldogs at the Florida Rebel Spring Games Tournament in Kissimmee, Fla.
Ferris State led 7-2 after the opening three innings with a seven-run, five-hit output in the third frame alone. Trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the third, the Bulldogs would not only erase the deficit but claimed a five-run lead on run-scoring hits off the bats of senior catcher Rachel Mueller (Milford/Santa Clarita Valencia) and junior first baseman Chelsea Morris (Jenison). Junior second baseman Makenzi Peterson (Big Rapids), like Morris, also recorded a RBI double while the other three FSU runs came on a two-RBI single by junior third baseman Allison Webber (Frankfort) and a single by senior shortstop Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints).
Southern Indiana would post five runs on four hits with two Bulldog errors in the top of the fourth inning off FSU sophomore starting pitcher Dana Bowler (Lockport, Ill.) to tie the contest at seven-all. USI then erupted for four more runs in the fifth frame to snap the deadlock and take an 11-7 lead as Bowler was relieved by Emily Carlson (Wixom/Walled Lake Western). The transfer from Albion (Mich.) College allowed two hits and a run before getting the inning's final out. Carlson, who was making her pitching debut in a Bulldog uniform, finished the day throwing 3.1 innings while giving up four hits and striking out one USI batter.
The Bulldogs began to chip away at Southern Indiana's lead with two runs apiece in the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, Rachel Mueller's single to center field accounted for the first run while the second score came on a passed ball to allow Chelsea Morris to cross home plate. Ferris State duplicated its sixth-inning run production in the ensuing inning to draw into an 11-all tie as a result of senior right fielder Colleen Roney (Wheaton, Ill./Glen Ellyn Glenbard South) smacking a two-out, two-RBI single to center field which scored junior left fielder Stephanie Dusendang (Comstock Park/Rockford) and freshman pinch-runner Alex Wittman (St. Joseph).
USI gain the upper hand in the top of the eighth inning as designated player Kristen O'Haver delivered a one-out, pinch-hit double to put the Screaming Eagles up 12-11 going into the bottom of the inning. Ferris State was in prime position to have a productive inning as the Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs. Misfortune was unforunately on the FSU side as Lynsay Weaver lined into a double play for the first two outs and Makenzi Peterson struck out swinging to end the game.
Emily Carlson (0-1) was tagged with the loss while Dana Bowler, who started for Ferris State, ended up with two strikeouts and six walks while allowing six hits in 4.2 innings of work.
At the plate, five Ferris State batters produced two hits apiece while Colleen Roney along with Rachel Mueller and Allison Webber drove in two runs each. The Bulldogs and Screaming Eagles each stranded nine runners.
Ferris State, which is 0-2 overall on the 2011 season, is back in action this Sunday (March 6) afternoon as the Bulldogs go up against University Sciences (Pa.) in a 3 p.m. (EST) encounter before squaring off against Slippery Rock (Pa.) at 5 p.m. (EST). Both Florida Rebel Spring Game Tournament non-conference outings will be held at the Osceola Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
Notes: Ferris State's five multi-hit batters combined for 10 of the team's 14 base hits . . . Rachel Mueller notched her 50th career hit on a RBI single in the sixth inning . . . Sophomore designated player Liz Hamming (Hudsonville) went two-of-three at the plate with a run scored and two walks . . . Allison Webber's two RBIs in the contest matches her output a season ago in 17 games.