Amanda Jager
Senior first baseman Amanda Jager catches a foul popup near the Northern Kentucky dugout in a regional tourney contest. (Photo by Sandy Gholston)

The 21st nationally-ranked Ferris State softball team advanced from the elimination bracket of the 2009 NCAA Division II sub-Midwest Regional Tournament this Sunday (May 10) as the Bulldogs posted a 5-1 decision over Northern Kentucky at the Saginaw Valley State Sports Complex in University Center, Mich.

The Bulldogs continued to rely on their solid pitching and hitting for the day as junior pitcher Kayle Stevenson (Holland/West Ottawa) limited the Norse to one run on five hits while FSU's batters recorded seven base hits.

Northern Kentucky, which tagged Ferris State with a 3-0 loss in Friday's (May 8) sub-Midwest Regional opening tilt, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Shatona Campbell's RBI single with no outs.

The Norse maintained their one-run advantage up until the top of the fifth inning when the Bulldogs erupted for two runs on a hit and two NKU errors. Sophomore shortstop Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints) drew a one-out walk and sophomore outfielder Rachel Wade (Canton) followed with a single. Both runners would score on a throwing error by Norse pitcher April Ehlers after junior second baseman Amanda Harrington (St. Joseph/Stevensville-Lakeshore) laid down a sacrifice bunt. Ehlers, who fanned six and walked three in six-plus innings of work, gave up just two hits to the Bulldogs in the regional-tourney opening contest.

The Bulldogs proceeded to score in the proceeding two innings with a run in the six followed by two more in the seventh.

(Photo by Sandy Gholston)

A one-out double by senior outfielder Holly Bruntjens (Gladstone) drove in Ferris' lone sixth-inning run after senior outfielder Sarah Mueller (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) drew a base on balls. The Bulldogs put two more runs on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh on a RBI double by junior designated player Rhea Flores (Dearborn Heights/Southgate Anderson) down the rightfield line. The second run was off senior first baseman Amanda Jager's (Kalamazoo/Comstock) RBI single up the middle.

Stevenson was able to get the side out in the bottom of the seventh for the complete-game decision. Stevenson walked one and struck out one in improving her record to 12-0 this campaign.

Rachel Wade and Amanda Jager both chalked up a squad-best two hits to pace Ferris State, which stranded eight runners on base to the Norse's seven runners.

Ferris State, which is now 2-1 in 2009 regional play, ran its overall record to 35-9 overall this season while Northern Kentucky ends its season at 32-23 overall.

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