Ferris' GLIAC Tourney Hopes End After A Long Saturday of Softball

By Sandy Gholston

MIDLAND – After a grueling four-game day, Saturday at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Softball Tournament, Ferris State University’s run in the event finally came to an end.

2008 GLIAC Tournament
Ferris State's Holly Bruntjens takes her lead from first base as she watches the pitch being delivered during Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference softball action on Saturday in Midland at Emerson Park. (Photo/Sandy Gholston)
After topping Mercyhurst 3-1, on Friday, the Bulldogs stumbled out of the gates Saturday in competition at Emerson Park. The Bulldogs, now 30-16 on the season, opened the day with a bitterly-tough 10-4 loss to Saginaw Valley State. Then, facing elimination for the rest of the tournament, Ferris bounced back. The Bulldogs beat Gannon, 3-1, and Ashland, 7-4, to set up a late-afternoon finale against top-seeded Wayne State. In a battle of the two teams that shared the regular-season championship, the Bulldogs’ day, and GLIAC Tournament run ended with a 3-2 loss.

Errors (mental and physical ones) plagued the Bulldogs in their losses. They committed four against Saginaw Valley, in a winner’s bracket game, and six against Wayne, in a loser’s bracket game. The Warriors were coming off a loss to a suddenly-hot Saginaw Valley team that strengthened its regional tournament credentials with its performances in the league tournament in Midland.

The disappointing ending to the tournament, an event in which the Bulldogs never really played their brand and level of softball, spoiled some strong performances by several individual players. Senior third baseman Katie Kraai and junior first baseman Amanda Jager had key hits against Saginaw Valley, redshirt freshman outfielder Rachel Wade showed some of her hitting potential (particularly with power) and sophomore Rhea Flores also had some big hits for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs expect to have more softball yet to be played.

Ferris has proven, over the course of the season, particularly with its run through the regular season of the GLIAC, that it is worthy of an NCAA bid. The only thing left to be settled should be seeding at this point.

If you have any questions, ideas or comments feel free to contact Sandy Gholston at sgholston2@netzero.com

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