Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team battled nationally 14th-ranked archrival Grand Valley State in two close games to open a weekend series on Saturday (March 31), but came out on the short end in both contests.
The host Lakers swept FSU on day one of back-to-back Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheaders in Allendale with a 3-1 win in the opening contest followed by a 2-1 victory in the nightcap.
With the two wins, GVSU improved to 26-4 overall this season along with 9-1 in the GLIAC while FSU fell to 11-15 overall and 2-6 in conference action. The two teams will play another league twinbill on Sunday (April 1) starting at 12 p.m. (ET) at the GVSU Softball Field.
The Lakers used a single run in the first followed by two more in the fifth to build a 3-0 lead over Ferris State in the first game of the afternoon. The Bulldogs were able to put a run on the board in the sixth, but could not produce another run in dropping the opener.
GVSU tallied eight hits in the first game while limiting the Bulldogs to only four hits. One of FSU's hits was a homer from senior third baseman Makenzi Peterson, which was her first of the year.
Andrea Nicholson took the game one with for Grand Valley State as she improved to 11-3 overall on the year despite not striking out any Bulldog batters. She didn't walk any either and gave up only the four hits and one run in throwing all seven innings.
Meanwhile, junior Dana Bowler suffered the setback for Ferris State after striking out four and walking only one in six innings pitched.
Both Emily Jones and Tonya Calkins had a pair of hits apiece for the Lakers while Brianuna Taylor doubled in the game. FSU's other hits came from Morgan Kramerich, Stephanie Dusendang and Liz Hamming.
In game two, the Lakers broke a 1-1 tie with the eventual game-winning run in the top of the fourth frame. FSU had surged ahead early with a run in the first before the Lakers answered with a run in the top of the second. Overall, GVSU had seven hits to two for Ferris State.
Hannah Santora was the game two winner for the Lakers. She struck out seven Bulldog batters and walked only two in seven innings while improving to 12-1 on the year.
Amy Dunleavy started the game for the Bulldogs and tossed six and one-third innings with no walks and no strikeouts. She gave up seven hits and both runs before giving way to Emily Carlson, who pitched the final two-thirds of an inning and gave up no hits.
Dunleavy had two of the Bulldogs' five hits in the contest with Peterson, Hamming and Lainee Clay accounting for the others.
On the Grand Valley State side, Calkins posted two hits while both Kayleigh Bertram and Miranda Cleary recorded doubles.
Ferris State left six runners on base in game two.
(Note: Photo is courtesy of Eric Carlson)