Big Rapids, Mich. - A pair of runs in the seventh inning led the Ferris State University softball team to a game two victory and a split with one of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) top teams in Ohio Dominican on Thursday (April 17) at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids.
The Bulldogs dropped the opening game to the Panthers by a 5-0 score, but scored twice in the seventh and shut down ODU in its final at-bat to notch a 3-2 win in the nightcap. The two contests opened up a stretch of nine home games in the next seven days for FSU.
Ohio Dominican, which entered the twinbill near the top of the GLIAc standings with a 15-3 league record on the year, earned the shutout in the opener as they outhit the Bulldogs by a 9-3 margin. They scored single runs in five different frames to earn the triumph.
The Panthers scored once in the first, third, fourth, sixth and seventh frames despite leaving nine runners on base overall. The Bulldogs had trouble putting runners on base in game one as ODU's Rachael Stanzel hurled a complete game, three-hit shutout. She tallied 10 strikeouts and had no walks in the win.
Ferris State's lone hits included a double from second baseman Michelle Tononi along with single base hits by junior first baseman Megan Galganski along with right fielder Rachael Gabrielson. Meanwhile, seven different batters notched hits for the Panthers with both Lizzy Weber and Allie Hinton posting two apiece.
Bulldog senior Amy Dunleavy suffered the setback after throwing three and two-thirds of an inning in the opener. She allowed three runs on hour hits with a walk and five strikeouts before giving way to freshman Megan Hiler, who threw the final three and a third-innings with two runs and five hits allowed. The rookie posted two strikeouts.
In game two, Ferris State's Cara DeLange posted her second win of the season as she went all seven innings for the victory. Overall, she gave up only two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and a walk in the win.
After three and a half scoreless innings, the Panthers grabbed the game's first lead with a single run in the bottom of the fourth. The Bulldogs tied the game back up with a run in the sixth, but ODU answered with a run of its own to grab a 2-1 edge heading into the seven frame.
In the seventh inning, Bulldog senior outfielder Alex Wittman singled to right field and eventually scored the tying run on an RBI single down the left field line from sophomore Alyssa Smith. Soon after, Smith scored on Tononi's RBI single to right field as the Bulldogs took their first lead of the day heading into the bottom of the frame.
Ferris State held on for the win as DeLange started off the bottom of the seventh inning with a strikeout before forcing Ohio Dominican's next two batters to pop out and end the contest.
The Bulldogs tallied eight hits overall to four for ODU in the nightcap, including two-hit games from Smith, Dunleavy and Wittman. Tononi and Galganski accounted for the Bulldogs' other two hits. Ferris State hit three doubles, including ones from Smith, Dunleavy and Galganski while Ohio DOminican's four hits included a two-bagger from Taylor Thomas.
With the split, the Bulldogs moved to 10-12 overall and 5-6 in league play this season. ODU now owns a 16-4 conference mark, but is only 20-24 overall on the season after Thursday's action.
Ferris State continues its homestand by hosting Tiffin in a conference doubleheader on Saturday (April 19) at the FSU Softball Field. Game one gets underway at 1 p.m. (ET) with the second game to follow.
FSU will then host Lake Superior State on Monday (April 21) and Wayne State on Tuesday (April 22) in GLIAC twinbills before entertaining Saginaw Valley State for a single makeup contest on Wednesday (April 23).