Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball squad opened action at The Spring Games in Florida on Saturday (March 9) with a pair of setbacks against strong national competition in Clermont, Fla.
In Saturday's opener, the Bulldogs took nationally 12th-ranked Saint Anselm to the wire in a 1-0 setback before falling to Winona State (Minn.) 12-2 in five innings in the nightcap. The first opponent, Saint Anselm, was ranked #1 in the country only a week ago while Winona State was listed as one of the nation's top teams receiving votes for the top 25 rankings this week.
Ferris State gave up only a single run on two hits in the opener as Saint Anselm scored the lone run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. FSU was outhit 2-1 for the contest, but SHU also had two errors in the field.
The Bulldogs' lone hit in game one came from second baseman Kodi Ramierez, but it was the only hit they could muster off Saint Anselm's Morgan Perry, who struck out 11 in the seven-inning victory. FSU's Abby Highway also had a strong pitching performance as she threw all seven innings and allowed only a single run on two hits.
In game two, Winona State fell behind 1-0 as FSU got an early run in the first inning before the Warriors responded with two runs in the second and three in the third. They then sealed the triumph as they scored seven times in the bottom of the fourth and limited FSU to only one more run in the Bulldogs' final at-bat in the fifth.
Saint Anselm totaled 12 hits in the nightcap compared to three for the Bulldogs. Ramirez had two hits for Ferris State and scored twice while shortstop Logan Fleming also had a hit. Both third baseman Lexi Hongisto and designated player Kaitlyn Orme drove in a run in the game.
Winona State's Liz Pautz got the win after hurling four innings with six strikeouts and five walks. She allowed a single run on one hit. Alyssa Van Valey pitched in relief and gave up only a single run on two hits.
For Ferris State, Connor Proctor tossed two and two-thirds innings, allowing five run on five hits with two K's. Kaitlyn Nugent came on for one and one-third innings and allowed seven runs on seven hits.
Ferris State will return to action as The Spring Games continues on Sunday (March 10) in Florida with two more contests. FSU will face regional foes Indianapolis and Drury (Mo.) starting at 9:30 a.m. (ET) and 11:45 a.m. (ET), respectively.