Big Rapids, Mich. - A big second inning wasn't enough for the Ferris State softball team to overcome as rival Grand Valley State scored an exciting 6-5 win over the Bulldogs in the second game of a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader on Friday evening (April 22) at the FSU Softball Field.
For the second consecutive game, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning as sophomore Morgan Kramerich singled up the middle to start the frame. She scored on a double from junior Makenzi Peterson, who later crossed home plate herself on a double down the left field line from junior Chelsea Morris.
One inning later, though, the Lakers claimed the advantage as they produced four runs on four hits in the second frame. Brianua Taylor, Kayleigh Bertram and Katie Martin all batted in runs for GVSU, which had four singles in the inning and was helped by both a Bulldog error and passed ball.
Ferris trimmed the lead back to a single run in the third as junior Stephanie Dusendang reached on a Laker error and eventually scored on a single from senior catcher Rachel Mueller. However, the Bulldogs stranded two runners in the inning despite notching two hits and benefiting from two GVSU miscues.
Grand Valley State earned the run back in the bottom of the same inning as Emily Jones hit a solo homer to right field for her fifth round tripper of the season.
The Lakers added a run in the fifth as Jones doubled to left field and was helped home on a RBI single from Emily Holt only one batter later.
Ferris tallied the final two runs of the game in the sixth as Peterson doubled to center field and Morris followed with her seventh home run of the year. Again, FSU left two runners on base as Desendang doubled to right center after Morris' homer and senior shortstop Lynsay Weaver singled before a strikeout ended the inning.
The Bulldogs forced three Laker outs in the bottom of the sixth, but could get nothing going in the seventh as the Lakers claimed the sweep in the Friday doubleheader.
Martin earned the win for Grand Valley State as she pitched the final six innings and allowed only three runs on seven hits while striking out five Bulldog batters. The win was her ninth of the year in 13 decisions.
Freshman Amy Dunleavy pitched the entire six frames for the Bulldogs and had three strikeouts along with three walks. She gave up nine hits.
Mueller had a game-high three hits for the Bulldogs while Morris drove in a contest-best three RBI's. Morris, Peterson and Weaver all notched two hits apiece for Ferris State with Kramerich, Dusendang and Lainee Clay all totaling a single hit each. Peterson's two doubles were her ninth and 10th of the season.
Meanwhile, the Lakers were led at the plate by Jones, Holt and Brittany Taylor with a pair of hits apiece. Bertram, Martin and Maggie Kerrigan all finished with one hit each as the Bulldogs posted a 12-9 edge in hits. The Lakers also had two errors compared to only one for the Bulldogs.
With the win, Grand Valley State improved to 34-7 on the year and 20-4 in conference action with FSU falling to 15-19 overall and 12-10 in league play.
The two teams will play another GLIAC doubleheader tomorrow (Saturday) to complete the weekend series' at the FSU Softball Field. Game one begins at 1 p.m. (ET) with game two to follow at approximately 3 p.m. (ET).
Admission is free to all home FSU games and the first 25 Ferris State students in attendance will receive free pop and peanuts. Prior to this Saturday's opener, the Bulldog softball team will honor its three senior student-athletes, including catcher Rachel Mueller, outfielder Colleen Roney and shortstop Lynsay Weaver.
Another highlight of Saturday's doubleheader will be between games when kids will have an opportunity to "run the bases" with Brutus, the Ferris State Athletics mascot. Following the activity, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt around the FSU Varsity Softball Complex and participation is free to both events.