Big Eighth Inning Lifts Minnesota State Over Bulldogs, 7-3

Senior outfielder Colleen Roney makes the catch during Friday's (March 11) action against Minnesota State.  (Photo by Eric Carlson)
Senior outfielder Colleen Roney makes the catch during Friday's (March 11) action against Minnesota State. (Photo by Eric Carlson)

The 2011 Ferris State University softball team continued to suffer growing pains as the Bulldogs allowed four runs in the top of the eighth inning and suffered a 7-3 non-conference loss to Minnesota State this Friday (March 11) afternoon in a Florida Rebel Spring Games Tournament outing at Kissimmee, Fla.

Minnesota State jumped out to a 3-0 lead as a result of scoring once in the top of the fourth inning and twice more in the sixth.  However, Ferris State battled back in the bottom half of the sixth inning by scoring three runs on four hits to tie things up at 3-3 through six full frames.  With two outs, senior right fielder Colleen Roney (Wheaton, Ill./Glen Ellyn Glenbard South) singled and would advance to second base when junior third baseman Makenzi Peterson (Big Rapids) notched an infield single.  Both Roney and Peterson would score as junior first baseman Chelsea Morris (Jenison) smacked the ball into the right centerfield gap for a two RBI triple.  The next batter, sophomore second baseman Lainee Clay (Wheelersburg, Ohio) connected on a pitch and lined the ball up the middle to score Morris for the Bulldogs' third run of the inning.    

Neither team was able to post the go-ahead run in the seventh inning thus sending the contest into extra innings.  The Mavericks wasted no time in the top of the eighth by scoring four runs on a pair of base , but also were aided by a Ferris State error.  A RBI single off the bat of Lindsay Erickson, who went three-of-four at the plate, represented the go-ahead run for Minnesota State.  Abby Sonner dashed any hopes of a Bulldog comeback by cracking a bases-loaded double to right centerfield to account for the final three runs.  

Ferris State went down in order in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Bulldogs drop to 3-7 for the 2011 season.

Offensively, the top six batters in Ferris State's lineup recorded a base hit - sophomore center fielder Morgan Kramerich (Crest Hill, Ill./Lockport), Colleen Roney, Makenzi Peterson, Chelsea Morris, Lainee Clay, and junior left fielder Stephanie Dusendang (Comstock Park/Rockford).

Sophomore pitcher Dana Bowler (Lockport, Ill.), who's record is 2-2 this spring, suffered the loss despite striking out seven and walking two batters in a complete-game eight-inning  performance.  Bowler allowed 10 hits and seven runs of which three were earned.  Kendra Huettl also threw all eight innings for Minnesota State and fanned eight Ferris State hitters while scattering six hits.

The Bulldogs will close out their action at the Florida Rebel Spring Games Tournament in Kissimmee, Fla., this Saturday (March 12) with two non-conference encounters.  Ferris State plays Southwest Minnesota State at 9 a.m. (EST) proceeded by an 11 a.m. (EST) meeting against Wisconsin-Parkside.