Ferris softball team clinches spot in postseason tournament

TAKING A CUT: Sara Meredith and her Ferris State softball team will be in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament this weekend. (Courtesy photo/Ferris State Athletic Department)

TAKING A CUT: Sara Meredith and her Ferris State softball team will be in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament this weekend. (Courtesy photo/Ferris State Athletic Department)

BIG RAPIDS — The Ferris State University softball team closed out the regular-season with a pair of tight setbacks to rival Grand Valley State on Friday at the GVSU Softball Stadium in Allendale.

Despite the two narrow decisions, the Bulldogs still officially clinched their second consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament berth and will take part in the annual league postseason event May 5-7 in Findlay, Ohio. The opponent and time are to be announced following the conclusion of league regular-season action.

Ferris State battled the league-leading Lakers close in Friday’s twinbill, but suffered a 3-1 setback in the opener along with a 4-1 loss in the nightcap.

Grand Valley State scored in the first inning of game one and the contest remained that way until GVSU put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth. FSU managed to score its only run in its final at-bat in the seventh, but could not get closer as the Lakers held on for the way. The Bulldogs were outhit 6-4 in the opener and also hampered by six errors in the field.

Ferris State’s hits in the first outing came from shortstop Sarah Johnson along with second baseman Logan Fleming, designated player Bailey Darwin and first baseman Sarah Meredith. Fleming doubled while Meredith accounted for the lone RBI.

In the circle, junior Sam Bates tossed all six frames in the first tilt and allowed three runs on six hits with a single walk. GVSU’s Allison Lipovsky gave up only a single run for the Lakers and posted 13 strikeouts.

In game two, the Lakers scored three of their four runs in the top of the third. They added a single run in the fourth before FSU tallied its lone run of the contest in the sixth. Overall, GVSU pounded out 12 hits to seven for the Bulldogs.

FSU’s seven hits in the nightcap came from seven different batters. Darwin doubled while Fleming homered for the lone RBI.

Bates threw two and one-third innings for FSU in the second game and allowed three runs on eight hits. Freshman Abby Highway came on and tossed four and two-thirds innings while allowing only one run on four hits with three Ks.

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