Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team suffered a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road setbacks in action on Saturday (April 26) against the Hillsdale Chargers in Hillsdale, Mich.
The host Chargers pulled out a 4-3 win in game one and then completed the sweep with an 8-3 triumph in game two.
In the opening game, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead entering the third inning, but the Chargers scored three times in the bottom of the frame to grab the lead. FSU tied the contest back up in the fifth before the Chargers scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to pull out the victory.
Hillsdale outhit FSU 11-6 in the opener and the Chargers' Sarah Grunert gave up only three runs on six hits in the compete-game victory for HC. She posted six strikeouts and walked three in seven innings.
Meanwhile, Bulldog freshman Megan Hiler also went the distance for FSU and allowed only four runs on 11 hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
Fellow Ferris State freshman Casey Bias led the Bulldogs at the plate with a home run and an RBI along with a run scored. Senior Amy Dunleavy along with Megan Galganski both had RBI's while shortstop Sarah Johnson accounted for a pair of sacrifices.
On the Hillsdale side, the Chargers tallied six doubles in the game, including two each by Jessica Knepper, Danielle Garceau and Kate Ardrey. Garceau and Ardrey both tallied three hits apiece while Knepper and Grunert totaled two each. Garceau drove in a squad-best three RBI's.
In game two, the Bulldogs again jumped in front first by scoring two runs in the initial inning. However, Hillsdale answered with two runs in the second and then grabbed the lead with a single run in the fourth. It remained a 3-2 difference until the Chargers added five more runs in the top of the seventh and shut down the Bulldogs in their final at-bat.
Hillsdale totaled nine hits in game two to five for the Bulldogs. The total for the Chargers included two hits each from Grunert and Bekah Kastning, who also had a team-high two RBI's. She homered and tripled in the game while Grunert and Knepper both doubled.
For Ferris State, Dunleavey had a squad-best two RBI's while Johnson had a pair of hits. She tripled for FSU while Rachael Gabrielson doubled for the Bulldogs.
Sarah Klopfer threw all seven innings for the Chargers and allowed only three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. Cara DeLange hurled five innings for FSU while giving up three runs on five hits in addition to two strikeouts and a walk. Hiler also pitched two innings in the nightcap, surrendering five runs on four hits.
With the two losses, the Bulldogs dropped to 13-20 overall and 8-14 in league play. Hillsdale improved to 21-17 on the year along with 13-13 in league play.
Following Saturday's league action, the conference office announced that FSU's makeup home dates slated for Sunday and Monday (April 27-28) versus Ashland and Grand Valley State have been dropped from the GLIAC schedule based on a league decision and will not be played.
FSU was slated to host AU and GVSU in back-to-back league doubleheaders to wrap up the regular-season at the Ferris State Softball Field, but both rescheduled makeup outings were called off by the conference office due to the fact they will have no impact on the league standings or potential postseason tournament scenarios.
Saturday's action thus marked the end of the Bulldogs' 2014 campaign along with the careers of a pair of FSU seniors in Dunleavy and Alex Wittman, who helped FSU to the NCAA Tournament a year ago and were four-year letterwinners in the Bulldog program.