Bulldogs Tally 34 Total Hits As Bats Come Alive In Senior Day Sweep Over Malone

Bulldogs Tally 34 Total Hits As Bats Come Alive In Senior Day Sweep Over Malone

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball team ran its winning streak to seven consecutive games as the Bulldogs notched their third-straight home sweep with a pair of decisive wins over Malone on Saturday (April 23) at the FSU Softball Field.

The Bulldogs posted a big 13-1 victory in the opener in five innings and completed the sweep with a 17-5 triumph in game two. The two wins came on Senior Day as FSU honored seniors Alyssa Smith, Stacy Thompson, Michelle Tononi and Megan Vanderwal prior to the opening pitch.

With the two victories, the Bulldogs improved to 32-16 overall this campaign and 17-7 in the GLIAC heading into Sunday's (April 24) final regular-season series against the Findlay Oilers in Big Rapids. FSU has already officially clinched a GLIAC Tournament berth.

Ferris State jumped out quickly in game one with three runs in the first inning and two more in the second for a 5-0 lead. The margin increased after three as the Bulldogs netted five runs in the bottom of the third. Malone scored its lone run in the fourth before FSU answered in the bottom of the inning with three more and then forced three-straight outs in the fifth to end the game.

Vanderwal tossed a three-hitter with a single run allowed in four innings of work for the Bulldogs to get the win. She had two strikeouts. Junior Megan Hiler came on and pitched the fifth for FSU and did not give up a run or hit.

Ferris State produced 13 hits at the plate with 10 different batters all earning at least one hit. Designated player and leadoff hitter Emily Smith led the way with four hits and also had a game-high four RBI's to spark the offensive attack. 

FSU also received two RBI's on a home run from catcher Casey Bias along with two RBI's from first baseman Emily Reed. Emily Smith, Bailey Darwin, Alexx Astorga and Stephanie Neuman all doubled for the Bulldogs.

In game two, Malone jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on a grand slam from Ashley Beck in the first inning. The score stood until the third when FSU responded with five runs in the third to grab the lead. FSU then broke the game open with four more runs in the fifth and eight in the seventh to account for the final margin.

Ferris State notched 21 hits in the game to nine for the Pioneers as the bats came alive in the final five innings of action.

Astorga tallied four hits in leading FSU offensively with Reed and Alyssa Smith notching three hits each. The Bulldogs also got two hits from Emily Smith, Tononi, Bias, Neuman and Sarah Johnson. Reed tallied a game-best five RBI's with Bias accounting for three runs batted in and Tononi, Astorga and Alyssa Smith all driving in two in the nightcap.

Both Astorga and Alyssa Smith doubled in game two while Reed tripled and Bias hit her seventh home run of the campaign. 

In the circle, Megan Jean earned the start before Thompson relived her in the first inning. The senior went on to throw six innings with a single run allowed on four hits in earning her 12th win of the year. Sam Bates tossed the final inning and gave up only a single hit.

Ferris State will close out the regular season on Sunday (April 24) as the Bulldogs host the Findlay Oilers in a twinbill starting at 12 p.m. (ET) at the FSU Softball Field. Game two will follow at approximately 2 p.m. (ET).