Big Rapids, Mich. - An impressive tournament run by the Ferris State University softball team came to an end on Sunday (April 29) morning as the Bulldogs fell just short in their quest for the 2012 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Championship by falling to Wayne State 3-2 in the title round at Findlay, Ohio.
The Warriors scored twice in the second inning to grab an early 2-1 advantage and limited the Bulldogs to a single run the rest of the way to earn the league tournament crown at the Marathon Diamonds Complex. FSU entered the contest needing to beat Wayne State twice in the double-elimination format.
Ferris State wrapped up the tournament with a 3-2 mark and both losses came to Wayne State by a single run. WSU beat FSU 7-6 in the winner's bracket finale on Saturday (April 28) to move into the championship round before the Bulldogs came back to top rival Grand Valley State 2-0 in an elimination game to reach Sunday's third and final day of competition.
Wayne State limited the Bulldogs to only five hits in the title game as FSU wrapped up the tournament with a 31-24 overall mark this campaign under interim head coach Dawn Thompson. WSU improved to 34-20 this season and claimed the league's automatic berth into next week's NCAA Division II Midwest Regional.
WSU's Sam Cain struck out five Bulldog batters and walked only one in hurling the complete-game win. She improved to 22-10 on the year with the triumph.
Meanwhile, FSU junior pitcher Dana Bowler suffered the loss to fall to 16-11 on the campaign despite tossing three strikeouts to go with four walks. She allowed only three runs on eight hits over six innings pitched.
Junior designated player Amy Dunleavy accounted for two of the Bulldogs' five hits in the game and also had one of the team's two RBI's with a home run in the contest. Senior third baseman Makenzi Peterson drove in the other run with a solo shot of her own in the game.
On the Wayne State side, Lauren Histed tallied a pair of RBI's for the Warriors while both Logan White and Shannon Hilton totaled two hits each. Stephanie Foreman scored two runs for WSU.
The Bulldogs finished the contest with two errors and left four runners on base.
FSU was the fifth seed heading into GLIAC Tournament, but finished the league event with a 3-2 mark despite taking on a higher-seeded opponent in all five games. Ferris State closed the 2012 campaign by winning 15 of its last 21 contests, including 10 of its final 13 encounters.
In addition, four Bulldogs were honored during the 2012 GLIAC Tournament as all-conference honorees for the season. Junior outfielder Morgan Kramerich joined Dunleavy as an All-GLIAC Second Team honoree while both Peterson and Morris received GLIAC Honorable Mention accolades.