March 11, 2013

Softball Off To Second-Best Start In Last 15 Years After Two More Wins

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team kept its impressive play going on Monday (March 11) as the Bulldogs ran their winning streak to five consecutive games with back-to-back triumphs at the Florida Rebel Spring Games in Kissimee, Fla.

The Bulldogs opened the day with a 2-0 early morning victory over Minnesota State-Moorhead, which marked FSU's second win over the Dragons in the tournament.  Ferris State then followed by scoring the game's lone run in the eighth inning to pull out a 1-0 victory over St. Cloud State (Minn.) in the second contest of the day.

The Bulldogs' current 5-1 start in Florida represents the program's second-best start in the last 15 years and trails only the 2009 squad that opened by winning their first nine games en route to a 35-10 overall record and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Ferris State's two runs versus Minnesota State-Moorhead both came in the top half of the seventh inning.  After a scoreless six frames, the Bulldogs broke the deadlock.  Shortstop Michelle Tononi drew a walk and senior Morgan Kramerich followed with a single to put runners on base.  Soon after, junior Amy Dunleavy came up with an RBI single and Kramerich eventually scored on a passed ball to account for the Bulldogs' two runs in the game.

FSU recorded an 8-6 edge in total hits for the contest and was led at the plate by Kramerich, who tallied four hits in the game.  Senior Allison Webber registered a double while Alex Wittman and senior Liz Hamming also posted hits in addition to Dunleavy.

Dunleavy earned the pitching victory for the Bulldogs in the first game of the day as she threw the entire seven innings and registered the shutout win after allowing six hits with seven strikeouts and a single walk.

The second game versus St. Cloud State went to extra inning as neither team was able to score in the opening seven frames. After St. Cloud State stranded its lone runner in the top of the eighth, the Bulldogs came to bat and managed to score the game's lone run.

FSU's Alyssa Smith pinch ran for senior Lindsey Pettit and was placed on second base as part of the internationl tiebreaker rule.  She advanced to third on Webber's sacrifice hit and St. Cloud State followed by intentionally walking Hamming.  Jordan Maxwell pinch ran for Hamming and stole second base with St. Cloud State then opting to intentionally walk the next batter in Taylor Verbic.  Finally, Wittman drew a walk in the final at-bat, which scored Smith from third as the Bulldogs earned the win.

The contest was a pitcher's duel as St. Cloud State had just two hits in the game and the Bulldogs netted only one, which was a single from Dunleavy.  The Huskies surrendered five runners on base while FSU left four on base, including the three remaining when the game ended.

Senior Dana Bowler tossed the second game for the Bulldogs and earned the victory after throwing all eight innings and giving up only two hits.  She totaled seven strikeouts and walked only one batter.

The Bulldogs will get a break as Tuesday is a scheduled off day for the team at the Florida Rebel Spring Games.  FSU will resume play on Wednesday (March 13) with a twinbill versus Lees-McRae (N.C.) and Southern Indiana.  The first game gets underway at 1 p.m. with the second contest slated for a 5 p.m. (ET) start.

Ferris State will also play two games on both Thursday and Friday (March 14-15) in Kissimmee before returning home at the end of the week.

NOTE: Bulldog Fans can follow live scoring updates from the Florida Rebel Spring Games via twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/ferrisathletics

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