Lynsay Weaver
Ferris State freshman shortstop Lynsay Weaver tries to collect the ball on a play at second base during game one of the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against Gannon at the FSU Softball Field. (Photo/Sandy Gholston)

Weather cooperates, bats come alive for Bulldogs

By Sandy Gholston

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – Leaving behind ideal weather and softball-playing conditions, in Florida, Ferris State found itself back indoors upon its return to Michigan.

The Wayne State Tournament was canceled and bad weather also cost the Bulldogs a home doubleheader against Aquinas, scheduled for Wednesday. Saturday, however, the weather was not perfect, but it was more than good enough to put the softball in play as Ferris welcomed Gannon to the FSU Softball Field to begin Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition.

“It’s always nice to be able to get back on the field after you come back from Florida,” said Ferris head softball coach Keri Becker as her team is now 9-8 overall and 2-0 in the GLIAC. “The weather is something you have to deal with. We actually were able to work on a lot of things inside and we accomplished a lot so when we got back on the field, outside, we were able to get back at it.”

To start game one, the Bulldogs showed some signs of some of the troubles that plagued them at times in Florida. Ferris fell into a 2-0 hole as the Lady Knights capitalized on a pair of Bulldog errors to claim an early lead. This time, however, Ferris showed it has learned from some of the lessons of its time in the Sunshine State.

Junior first baseman Amanda Jager had an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning, but that was just the beginning. Sophomore second baseman Amanda Harrington had an RBI double, Sarah Mueller had an RBI double and junior catcher Krystle Bailey had an RBI double to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead – in a heartbeat.

“It was perseverance,” said Becker as she reflected on her team’s come-from-behind 4-2 win in game one that set the stage for a sweep as the Bulldogs took game two 5-0 to begin league play 2-0. “That’s one of the things about this team that’s so good. They’ve persevered through a lot of things and they realize that there’s too much talent and too much potential on this team not to be able to come out of (the early struggles).”

In game two, senior third baseman Katie Kraai finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and two driven in, Jager was 1-for-3 with a run scored and one driven in, Bailey was 1-for-3 with a run scored and one driven in and freshman outfielder Lynsay Weaver also was able to drive in a run.

In the circle, Ferris enjoyed solid pitching performances from game-one junior starter Holly Bruntjens (seven innings, six hits, two runs, two walks and three strikeouts) and game-two junior starter Sarah Mueller (seven innings, two hits allowed, one walk and four strikeouts) to complement a defense that got tougher as the day went on.

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