FSU COMPLETES SEASON SWEEP OF RIVAL GRAND VALLEY STATE
|Head coach Keri Becker's nationally sixth-ranked Bulldogs completed a season sweep of rival GVSU with two wins on Wednesday (Photo by Sandy Gholston)
The nationally sixth-ranked Ferris State University softball team completed a season sweep of rival Grand Valley State as the Bulldogs beat the Lakers by scores of 4-2 and 4-1 in a pair of games on Wednesday (April 15) afternoon at the GVSU Softball Field.
Game One - Ferris State 4, Grand Valley State 2
The nationally sixth-ranked Ferris State softball team opened its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader against archrival Grand Valley State on Wednesday (April 15) with a 4-2 triumph in the first game at the GVSU Softball Field in Allendale, Mich.
The Bulldogs, who are ranked first in the NCAA-II Midwest Regional Rankings, were outhit seven-to-six for the game but still managed to win their sixth-straight contest behind a complete game pitching performance from senior Holly Bruntjens.
Bruntjens allowed seven hits and had seven strikeouts while walking five Laker batters in hurling all seven innings to improve to 11-3 overall this season.
The Bulldogs scored a run apiece in each of the first two innings and then added two additional runs in the fifth and six frames after the Lakers had managed to tie the contest with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second and third innings.
Sophomore Rachel Wade and senior Amanda Jager both hit doubles in the contest while freshman Mackenzi Peterson belted a solo shot for her first career home run to lead off the second inning. Senior Shannon Roney tallied two hits for FSU and sophomore Rachel Mueller also compiled a hit for the Bulldogs in the game.
Becky Rudenga, Nichole Woityra and Breanne Kronberg all doubled for the Lakers. Rudenga posted two hits and drove in two runs to lead GVSU.
Grand Valley State's Lori Andjelich also threw all seven innings, giving up six hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
After the Lakers had tied the contest up at two runs apiece, the Bulldogs quickly responded with solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Roney singled up the middle for an RBI, scoring Peterson for the eventual game-winning run. The Bulldogs added a run in the fifth, as leadoff hitter Wade scored on a wild pitch after doubling to start the inning.
Grand Valley State had chances in both the sixth and seventh innings, but could not push any runs across the plate. The Lakers stranded at least one runner in all seven innings and had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh with two outs before FSU prevailed.
Game Two - Ferris State 4, Grand Valley State 1
The nationally sixth-ranked Bulldogs completed a season sweep over rival Grand Valley State with a 4-1 triumph over the Lakers in game two of a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) twinbill Wednesday (April 15) at the GVSU Softball Field in Allendale, Mich.
The Bulldogs, who took a 4-2 win in game one and swept the Lakers earlier this year (March 30) in a doubleheader at home, built an early 3-0 advantage on a home run shot from sophomore Lynsey Weaver in the bottom of the second inning and added a run in the fifth frame to secure the victory in the nighcap.
FSU was outhit in the second game by a nine-to-six count, but received yet another winning pitching performance from junior Kayle Stevenson, who improved to 8-0 in the circle this season with the victory.
Weaver opened the scoring for FSU by belting her fourth home run of the season to left center field with two outs and two runners on base in the bottom of the second, giving the Bulldogs an early 3-0 lead.
Grand Valley State got on the board with a solo homer from Breanne Kronberg in the top of the fifth inning, which was also her fourth homer of the year. However, Ferris responded in the home half of the inning with an RBI groundout for a 4-1 lead and the final tally of the game.
The Lakers managed nine hits in game two, but stranded 10 base runners, including at least one runner in five of the seven innings. Stephanee Schrader and Carli Raisutis both had two base hits for Grand Valley State.
The Bulldogs received hits from five different players with sophomore Rachel Wade posting a pair of hits, including her third triple of the season. In addition to Weaver's home run, the Bulldogs also got hits from junior Rhea Flores, senior Holly Bruntjens and senior Shannon Roney.
Junior Lauren Rohan (8-5) allowed six hits in six innings of work for GVSU, while walking two batters and striking out four. GVSU's nine hits were all off of Stevenson, but the Lakers only pushed one run across the plate. Stevenson also walked two and recorded four strikeouts in throwing all seven frames.
With the sweep, the Bulldogs improved to 28-4 on the year and 14-2 in the GLIAC standings. GVSU fell to 30-11 overall and 10-6 in conference action with four of the losses coming to FSU.
Ferris State, which presently ranks first in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Rankings, has now won 11 of its last 12 outings and 17 of its last 19 encounters to date.
The Bulldogs are next slated to continue their league road swing by traveling to Ohio for a pair of doubleheaders this weekend. FSU visits Tiffin on Saturday (April 18) for two games starting at 1 p.m. (EDT) and will square off against Ashland on Sunday (April 19) with the first pitch in game one set for 12 p.m. (EDT).