Big Rapids, Mich. – The Ferris State University women's softball team picked up a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader sweep with 7-6 and 6-5 victories over the Wisconsin Parkside Rangers at the Ferris State Softball Field on Friday (March 29).
In the series opener, the Bulldogs built a four run lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when freshman right fielder Kylie Winkels doubled in a pair of runs, followed by an RBI triple by freshman designated hitter Kaitlyn Orme. A groundout by junior first baseman Sawyer Wightman brought Orme home to cap the big inning for the Bulldogs.
The Rangers replied scoring three times in the top of the seventh inning to pull within a run, as freshman starting pitcher Connor Proctor left after 6.1 innings and five strikeouts on 121 pitches in favor of freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Nugent who retired the remaining Rangers without allowing a baserunner on six pitches.
Ferris State freshman left fielder Jessica Tucci finished with a pair of hits and two RBI's in the game as the Bulldogs had 10 hits. Kate Czoschke took the loss for the Rangers, going 4.1 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits. Kiley Akey allowed a run in 1.2 innings on one hit and a walk in relief. Proctor picked up her sixth win to improve to 6-6 with the victory.
In the series finale, Ferris State fired off a pair of runs when sophomore center fielder Paige Kortz tripled home sophomore second baseman Kodi Ramirez. Senior third baseman Lexi Hongisto singled in Kortz shortly after for a 2-0 lead.
The Rangers pulled ahead with a three-run third inning and traded runs with Ferris State until they built a 5-4 lead headed into the bottom of the seventh inning.
At last call, the Bulldogs drew a pair of walks off of Parkside reliever Allison Hausl to put the winning run at first base. Kortz hammered a long doubled into the left center field gap to the fence to drive in Ramirez and senior catcher Rebecca Piron for a walk-off 6-5 victory.
On the mound, FSU junior pitcher Abby Highway navigated a complete game on 124 pitches, striking out five Rangers and giving up five runs on 12 hits to improve to 6-8 on the season.
Parkside's Alyssa Hrncar struck out three Bulldogs in five innings, allowing 13 hits and four runs in the process. Hrncar left with the Rangers ahead by one, and Hausl, who failed to record an out in the final inning, took the loss walking three in the game and allowing two earned runs.
Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for a coming announcement on a change of schedule for Ferris State softball's upcoming doubleheader with Purdue Northwest, initially scheduled for Sunday (March 31).