Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball program honored its senior class in style as the Bulldogs ran their winning streak to six consecutive games with a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home sweep over visiting Hillsdale on Saturday (April 27) at the FSU Softball Field.
Ferris State improved to 26-12 overall this season by sweeping the Chargers in league action. FSU took game one by a 3-0 score and then came back to win the nightcap 4-2 on a sunny and warm afternoon in Big Rapids.
The seniors helped pave the way in the afternoon action for the Bulldogs as FSU swept a league counterpart for the third consecutive day. Overall, Ferris State has now won six-straight games and nine of its last 10 overall with two conference regular-season contests left on tap.
In the opener, Bowler recorded her school-record 10th consecutive win as she posted her 10th shutout victory of the year in a complete game pitching performance. She tossed the entire contest for the 23rd time this campaign and also improved her shutout streak to 27 consecutive innings and counting.
Bowler improved to 18-6 overall in the circle this season as she tossed a one-hitter and compiled seven strikeouts with a single walk. The lone Hillsdale hit came in the top half of the second ining.
Ferris State scored all three of its runs in the opening game in the bottom of the second as the Bulldogs registered two hits and were aided by a Charger error in the ining.
Overall, the Bulldogs had six hits in the opener with Alyssa Smith and Alex Wittman both notching a pair of hits apiece. Amy Dunleavy along with Pettit both had a single hit each while Kramerich and Rachael Gabrielson both tallied sacrifice hits for the Bulldogs. FSU's RBI's in game one came from Michelle Tononi and Wittman.
In game two, Hillsdale jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a single run in the bottom half of the first. The Bulldogs answered with a run in the top of the second and the score stood until the Chargers regained a 2-1 margin in the fourth. After FSU tied it back up in the fifth, the Bulldogs finally moved ahead with a pair of runs in the sixth inning and shut down Hillsdale the rest of the way to notch the victory.
In the sixth inning, with the score tied, Ferris State was helped by two Hillsdale errors before Wittman singled to center field to drive in two runs, which proved to be the difference.
Kramerich had a team-high two hits while staring her 182nd consecutive game in a Bulldog uniform while Gabrielson added two hits as well. Clay, Dunleav, Pettit, Tononi and Wittman each had a single hit as FSU totaled nine hits overall.
Along with Wittman's two RBI's, the Bulldogs also received RBI's from Kramerich and Tononi. Dunleavy scored twice for FSU. Tononi and Gabrielson both doubled for the Bulldogs and Clay tallied a sacrifice hit.
Dunleavy earned the start in game two and pitched the entire seven frames to improve to 8-4 overall this season. She had five strikeouts and walked three while allowing only five hits.
With the sweep, Ferris State now owns a 18-6 conference mark in addition to a 26-12 overall record. HC fell to 11-20 overall and 10-14 in conference play.
The Bulldogs also climbed into a tie for second place overall in the GLIAC following Saturday's play and are knotted up with Northwood as both teams trail leader Grand Valley State by four games heading into the final day of conference action.
FSU and Northwood will square off against each other in an important league series on Sunday (April 28) with first pitch for game one set for 2 p.m. (ET) at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids and game two to follow. It will mark the last regular-season contests and last home games in Big Rapids for the Bulldogs.