Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team got back on track by sweeping Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) newcomer Malone on Sunday (March 24) to wrap up a four-game road swing in Ohio.
The Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak by dominating the Pioneers on their home field in Canton, Ohio. FSU took game one in decisive fashion by an 18-4 score in five innings followed by a 11-6 triumph in the nightcap.
With the two wins, the Bulldogs improved to 9-7 overall this season and evened their league mark in the GLIAC at 2-2 after the opening weekend of conference play.
In game one, the Bulldogs pounded out 18 hits and allowed only five to Malone as senior pitcher Dana Bowler notched her fourth victory of the year. She struck out four and walked six in five innings of work.
Bowler was aided at the plate by a potent Bulldog attack that featured six players with multiple hits in the contest. Both Alyssa Smith and Morgan Kramerich notched four hits each in the game while seniors Lindsey Pettit and Liz Hamming along with Michelle Tononi and Taylor Verbic all notched two apiece. Both Smith and Tononi scored three runs each while Hamming, Pettit and Verbic all crossed the plate twice in the outing.
Verbic notched a game-high five RBI's with Smith and Kramerich netting three runs batted in each. Smith, Kramerich, Pettit, Verbic and junior Amy Dunleavy all doubled while Kramerich also tripled for the Bulldogs.
Ferris State broke a 1-1 tie by exploding for 12 runs on eight hits in the top half of the second inning at Pioneer Field. The Bulldogs then tacked on three more runs in the third and sealed the win with a pair of runs to end the game in the fifth.
In game two, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three innings of work with two runs in the first, a single run in the second and three more in the third. FSU added another run in the fourth to push the advantage to 7-1 and then scored four times in the bottom of the sixth after the Pioneers had trimmed the margin to a single run. Overall, Malone outhit the Bulldogs by a 11-10 count.
Dunleavy pitched five and two-thirds innings for the Bulldogs in game two to earn the win before giving way to senior Emily Carlson for the final one and one-third frames. Dunleavy posted two strikeouts and five walks while allowing six runs on 10 hits. In relief, Carlson had a walk and a strikeout and gave up no runs on a single hit.
Smith and Tononi both had two RBI's each in the final game. FSU received two hits each from Smith along with senior Lainee Clay, Alex Wittman and Rachel Gabrielson, who led the way with three runs scored. Pettit and Wittman both scored twice for the Bulldogs with both Smith and Tononi registering doubles for the Bulldogs. FSU also stole four bases in the game.
Ferris State returns back to Michigan and is slated to square off against Lake Erie in its home-opening series on Friday (March 29) at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids. Opening pitch for game one is set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) with the second game of the doubleheader to follow at approximately 5:30 p.m. (ET).
FSU will then host league newcomer Walsh on Saturday (March 30) in a twinbill beginning at 1 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids.