Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University softball squad closed out its season-opening weekend of action with a split on Sunday (Feb. 16) against Illinois-Springfield in St. Charles, Mo.
The Bulldogs took a 6-5 decision in nine innings in the opener before falling 10-2 in the nightcap while wrapping up a four-game series versus the Prairie Stars on the campus of Lindenwood University in the St. Louis area.
In the opener, Ferris State scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to garner the win after rallying back from a 5-4 deficit in the sixth inning. FSU tied the game in the seventh and then won the tilt on a passed ball in the ninth for the Bulldogs' first win of the year. Both teams totaled eight hits overall.
Both Paige Kortz and Jessica Tucci tallied a team-high two hits for the Bulldogs in game one with three different players all driving in a single run. FSU's Ali Magiera homered and Madison McLeod tallied a double in the triumph.
In the circle, senior abby Highway threw five and two-thirds of an inning with five runs allowed on eight hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Connor Proctor garnered the win and did not give up a run or a hit while tossing seven K's in three and one-thirds action.
Illinois-Springfield fought back in game two for the win as UIS notched a single run in the first along with nine combined runs in the third and fourth innings to pull away from the Bulldogs. They totaled 12 hits to eight for FSU, which scored both of its runs in the top of the second.
FSU's Kaitlyn Nugent threw two innings in the nightcap with three runs allowed on four hits with two walks before Proctor came on and allowed five runs on five hits in a single inning. Orme tossed an inning as well, allowing two runs on three hits.
The Bulldogs will head to Evansville (Ind.) on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22, for the Midwest Regional Crossover. FSU opens the event against host Southern Indiana on Friday at 1:30 p.m. (ET) before meeting Bellarmine (Ky.) in game two on the opening day of the event at 3:30 p.m. (ET).