2008 FERRIS STATE SOFTBALL -- BLOG 11
|Ferris State senior Katie Kraai (left) tries to avoid the tag of Cornerstone third baseman Melanie Greager during Monday’s softball doubleheader at the FSU Softball Field. (Photo/Sandy Gholston)
Streaking Bulldogs Do It With Offense
By Sandy Gholston
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – Ferris State head softball coach Keri Becker didn’t have to think long when asked what has been going so right for her Bulldogs since the team’s return from Florida.
Back in Michigan, after more than a week of competition in the Sunshine State in early March, Ferris has hit its stride – particularly offensively. After winning three of four Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road games over the weekend, sweeping Northwood and splitting with Saginaw Valley State, the Bulldogs looked sharp in a doubleheader against non-conference foe Cornerstone Monday afternoon. Back at the FSU Softball Field, Ferris earned a 5-0 win over the Golden Eagles in the opener and enjoyed a dominating offensive effort to secure the sweep with a 13-2 victory in the nightcap to improve to 16-9 on the season, overall, while remaining 7-1 in the GLIAC’s standings.
The key to Monday’s sweep, and this stretch of 11 wins in 12 games as the big picture, has been the ability to string together hits – especially the big ones.
“Basically, we’ve got offense coming from a lot of different people right now and that has definitely been one of the biggest differences since we got back from Florida,” said Becker, whose team hosts league rival Wayne State in a pair of non-conference games at the FSU Softball Field on Wednesday beginning at 4 p.m. “It was nice to get that offense going and it was nice to get a lot of different people in the games to give (those younger players) some valuable game experience.”
Still, this recent string of success started with offense. Even with the wind blowing in, at the FSU Softball Field, the Bulldogs hit the ball hard time and time again. Redshirt freshman outfielder Rachel Wade had a big first game as she finished with two of Ferris’ eight hits including a double and two runs driven in. Senior third baseman Katie Kraai had a pair of hits while rookie outfielder Brooke Lewis batted 2-for-3 with a run scored as she started in right field.
In game two, Ferris’ offense was even better as the team pushed across 13 runs on 10 hits. Freshman second baseman Lynsay Weaver batted 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one driven in, redshirt freshman first baseman Rachel Mueller was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI, Wade finished 1-for-3 with three RBI, Kraai was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and a run driven in while Lewis hit 1-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI.
Of significance, for the Bulldogs, was the ability to string together hits against Cornerstone’s pitching staff – something that had previously plagued the team at times in Florida.
“Our hitting has really improved since we got back from Florida and there are a lot more people who are hitting and hitting with confidence,” said Wade as the Bulldogs also had winning pitching performances from Kayle Stevenson (1-1) and Rhea Flores (1-0). “Our hitting has gotten better since Florida and our defense also has improved a lot to go with our pitching.”