Holly Bruntjens
Holly Bruntjens slides into third base during Monday's (March 30) home-opening action against Grand Valley State. The Bulldogs won both games of the doubleheader in improving their season record to 16-2 overall. (Photo courtesy of The Pioneer)

The Ferris State University softball team, currently ranked sixth in the nation, opened its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) schedule with a pair of home victories over Grand Valley State Monday (March 30) afternoon at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich.

Game One - Ferris State 3, Grand Valley State 2 (11 innings)

Sophomore outfielder Rachel Wade's (Canton) game-winning double in the bottom of the 11th inning completed a four-hit game performance as the nationally sixth-ranked Ferris State softball team handed Grand Valley State a 3-2 loss Monday (March 30) afternoon in game one of a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich.

The win improves Ferris State to 15-2 overall and 1-0 in the GLIAC this season. The contest marked the Bulldogs' 2009 season home opener.

The rally for FSU started in the bottom of the 10th inning when freshman third baseman Makenzi Peterson (Big Rapids) singled with two outs through the left side of the GVSU infield on a full-count pitch to drive in sophomore pinch runner Kim Curtis (Morley/Morley-Stanwood) with the game-tying run.

In the bottom half of the 11th inning, sophomore shortstop Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints) was positioned at second base as a result of the international tiebreaker rule and proceeded to score the game-winning run on Rachel Wade's double into left centerfield.

The Bulldogs, who equaled Grand Valley State in base hits with six apiece, had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on senior catcher Krystle Bailey's (Wyoming/Rogers) RBI sacrifice fly. However, GVSU would tie the contest at 1-1 in the top of the fourth frame as a result of Rebecca Plummer's RBI single.

Neither team scored again until the top of the 10th when the Lakers went up 2-1 on a RBI double by Nichole Woityra. However, Ferris was able to tie the game in the bottom half of the frame on Peterson's clutch hit.

Ferris State finished the game with six runners left on base while the visitors stranded 11 on the basepaths.

Rachel Wade
Rachel Wade receives congratulations from Amanda Jager after her game-one winning double in the bottom of the 11th inning. (Photo courtesy of The Pioneer)
Senior Shannon Roney (Wheaton, Ill./Glen Ellyn Glenbard South) picked up the win in relief as she improved her record to 4-0 this spring. Roney threw 5.2 innings while giving up three hits, one run, walked three, and recorded six strikeouts. Senior pitcher Holly Bruntjens (Gladstone) started for Ferris and allowed three hits, one run (earned) and fanned three in 5.1 innings of action.

Game Two - Ferris State 6, Grand Valley State 1

Ferris State produced its second straight win over Grand Valley State in the second game of Monday's (March 30) GLIAC twinbill to sweep the two-game set at Big Rapids.

Ferris State (16-2 overall and 2-0 GLIAC) lead from start to finish as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Krystle Bailey's RBI single up the middle. Grand Valley State (22-7 overall and 2-2 GLIAC) countered FSU's run with one of its own in the bottom half of the opening frame thanks to Nichole Woityra's run-scoring double.

That would be all the scoring for the Lakers as junior pitcher Kayle Stevenson (Holland/West Ottawa) turned in a complete-game effort for the Bulldogs with seven hits and two strikeouts. Stevenson raised her record to 4-0 this season with the triumph.

The Bulldogs snapped the 1-1 deadlock in the top of the sixth inning as sophomore pinch-runner Colleen Roney (Wheaton, Ill./Glen Ellyn Glenbard South) scored on Holly Bruntjen's RBI sacrifice fly to center field.

In the top of the seventh, Ferris State put some distance between them and Grand Valley State with a four-run scoring output on five hits. The damaging blow occurred on a one-out three-run home run off the bat of Rhea Flores (Dearborn Heights/Southgate Anderson). The junior designated player cleared the left field fence for her third roundtripper of this season. FSU's tacked on an additional run later in the inning on a GVSU throwing error which scored senior first baseman Amanda Jager.

For Ferris, Krystle Bailey's three hits paved the way as she was one of four Bulldog batters to notch multiple hits. Flores, Makenzi Peterson, and Lynsay Weaver all garnered two hits each as Ferris outhit the Lakers 12-7 for the game.

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