Ferris State Softball Earns Split In Season Debut At The Spring Games In Florida

Ferris State Softball Earns Split In Season Debut At The Spring Games In Florida

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team opened its 2016 campaign and its appearance in The Spring Games by picking up a split on Sunday (Feb. 28) in Clermont, Fla.

The Bulldogs won their season debut and the first-ever game under new head coach Wally King with a 3-1 triumph over Saint Anselm in non-league play on Sunday morning at the National Training Center.

In the nightcap, the Bulldogs battled nationally 16th-ranked West Virginia Wesleyan to a one-run difference in a 5-4 setback.

Ferris State struck first in the opener in the Bulldogs' first at-bat of the campaign as newcomer Megan Jean flied out to center field while scoring Alexx Astorga in the opening frame.

The Bulldogs then added another run in the top of the second inning on Astorga's triple to right field. Saint Anselm trimmed the margin back to a single run in the bottom of the inning and the score stood much of the way. However, in the top of the seventh inning, FSU's Sam Bates doubled to center field to score senior Michelle Tononi and the Bulldog defense preserved the victory.

Senior pitcher Stacey Thompson earned the victory in game one as she tossed all seven innings and allowed only one run on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

Offensively, Astorga paced FSU with three hits and an RBI. FSU also received two hits from Megan Jean along with one each from Bates and Tononi as part of a seven-hit attack. Amanda Bickford had two hits in leading Saint Anselm in the setback.

In game two against West Virginia Wesleyan, the Bobcats struck for two runs in the top of the second to grab the early advantage. But, FSU came right back and built a 4-2 lead with four runs in the bottom of the second.

FSU's 4-2 advantage stood up until the fourth when West Virginia Wesleyan put a pair of runs across the board. They then added an insurance run in the fifth and held FSU at bay the rest of the way.

Bulldog third baseman Bailey Darwin and senior outfielder Alyssa Smith both netted two hits each in the nightcap with Hongisto driving in two runs. Catcher Emily Reed along with Bates and Alexis Hongisto also produced hits as FSU again totaled seven overall.

Senior Megan Vanderwal earned the start in game two for the Bulldogs and gave up five runs on four hits in three and two-thirds innings of action. Hannah Leppek came on to toss the next two and one-third innings with only a single run given up on six hits and two strikeouts. Finally, junior Megan Hiler pitched the final inning and allowed only one hit and no runs.

West Viriginia Wesleyan's Anna Eggleston pitched all seven innings for the Bobcats and surrendered four runs on seven hits with five K's.

Ferris State will be back in action at The Spring Games on Monday (Feb. 29) with a pair of non-league contests versus Kentucky Wesleyan and Georgian Court starting at 3 and 5 p.m. (ET), respectively.

Overall, the Bulldogs are slated to play a total of 22 games over a 16-day span in the Sunshine State before returning home following the conclusion of the trip on March 12.