FSU Suffers One Run Setback In 11 Innings

FSU played its longest game of the season against GVSU in the nightcap (Photo by Eric Carlson)
FSU played its longest game of the season against GVSU in the nightcap (Photo by Eric Carlson)

Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State and Grand Valley State wrapped up an exciting weekend of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) softball action with a memorable contest spanning 11 innings on Saturday (April 23) afternoon at the FSU Softball Field.

The Lakers earned a split on the day as Kayleigh Bertram's RBI single through the left side of the infield scored Miranda Cleary in the bottom of the 11th, which gave GVSU a 5-4 win.

The victory came after the Bulldogs had previously posted a 3-2 victory in the first game of the afternoon doubleheader.  The Lakers also won both of Friday's (April 22) contests in Big Rapids and the final three games of the weekend series' were all determined by a single run.

After a scoreless first inning in the closing game, the Bulldogs grabbed a 1-0 edge in the top of the second as junior designated player Lindsey Pettit tallied an RBI single to the outfield, which scored senior Lynsay Weaver from first base. 

FSU added two more runs in the third with a pair of hits from senior Colleen Roney and junior Makenzi Peterson.  Roney crossed home plate off a sacrifice fly from Stephanie Dusendang with Peterson scoring soon after on a wild pitch.

The Lakers netted their first run of the game in the fourth as Cleary singled down the right field line to score Briauna Taylor.

FSU earned the run back, though, in the top of the sixth as Pettit hit a home run to center field. The Bulldogs totaled three of their nine hits in the game in the inning, but left a runner on base and had another thrown out trying to steal at third base.

The Lakers answered with three runs in the bottom of inning number six to tie the game at four runs apiece.  Taylor walked to start the inning and Katie Martin followed with a two-run homer to left field.  Cleary then doubled to right center to advance Tonya Calkins to third.  After a Bulldog pitching change, Calkins scored on a sacrifice fly from Emily Jones before Ferris State ended the inning by throwing out Cleary at home from right field.

The two teams then battled for four scoreless innings as both teams left runners on base in the seventh frame and the game was forced to go to extra innings.

The Bulldogs stranded runners in both the eighth and ninth innings, but also held GVSU to only three plate appearances in the bottom half of both frames. 

After a runner was placed on second base in the top of the 10th, the Bulldogs advanced Weaver to third on a sacrifice bunt from Pettit before the Lakers managed to record the final two outs of the inning. GVSU also left two runners in its half of the 10th inning.

Ferris State's Morgan Kramerich moved to third base on a bunt in the top of the 11th before a ground out and a line out ended the Bulldogs' final scoring threat.

Overall, the Lakers tallied 13 hits compared to nine for the Bulldogs and neither team registered an error in the contest.

GVSU's Katie Martin pitched all 11 innings for the Lakers and struck out six while walking only three.

Amy Dunleavy started the contest for the Bulldogs and threw five innings before giving way to Emily Carlson.  She gave up only one hit in one and a third innings of action with Dana Bowler coming on in relief to pitch the final four frames.  The three combined for only two walks and one strikeout for FSU.

Pettit tallied a game-high three hits and drove in two runs for the Bulldogs, including her sixth homer of the campaign.  Roney also had three hits while Mseniro catcher Rachel Mueller notched her seventh double of the year as part of a two-hit effort.  Kramerich and Chelsea Morris also had multiple-hit games.

Taylor, Cleary and Emily Holt all knotted two hits apice for GVSU with Martin driving in two runs.

With the win, Grand Valley State improved to 35-8 on the year and 21-5 in conference action.  Ferris State dropped to 16-20 overall and 13-11 in league play.

Saturday's outings also represented FSU's annual Senior Day games as the Bulldogs honored Mueller, Roney and Weaver prior to the first contest. A special Easter Egg Hunt was held for kids between games and they also had an opportunity to run the bases along with the Ferris State mascot, Brutus.

Ferris State will play its final scheduled home games of the season on Tuesday (April 26) as the Bulldogs host Northwood in a league twinbill at the FSU Softball Field.  Game one starts at 3 p.m. (ET) with the nightcap to follow at approximately 5 p.m. (ET).