BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University softball team split with Ferris State, falling 3-1 in game one before defeating the Bulldogs 13-12 in 10 innings in game two. With the split the Cardinals move to 19-25 overall on the season and 12-18 in the GLIAC, while Ferris State moves to 26-22 overall on the season and 17-13 in the GLIAC.
The Cardinals fell behind in the bottom of the second inning when the Bulldogs scored the only three runs they would need to defeat Saginaw Valley. Ferris State scored three runs on two hits and capitalized on two SVSU errors to take the 3-0 lead.
Saginaw Valley's lone run crossed the plate when Kailah Happ (Waterford, Mich./Kettering HS) drove a home run over the left field fence.
The Cardinals looked to get something going in the top of the sixth inning when Happ reached first on an error and moved to second on a single from Jenna Holmes (Jenison, Mich.). Saginaw Valley loaded the bases when Kaitlyn Kenyon (Tecumseh, Mich.) drew a walk, but SVSU was unable to capitalize, falling 3-1 to the Bulldogs.
Alexa Gehrls (Caledonia, Mich.) suffered the loss for the Cardinals pitching six innings, while Happ was two-for-three at the plate with one run batted in and Jordan Randall (Clinton Twp., Mich.) was two-for-four at the plate.
The Cardinals took the lead early in the contest when they scored two runs on two hits in the bottom of the first inning. Randall hit a leadoff single and came across home when Natalie Wellman (Fairhaven, Mich./Anchor Bay HS) hit a homerun over the left field fence, giving SVSU the 2-0 lead.
Ferris State wasted no time getting the runs back as they scored five runs on six hits in the top of the second inning. The first two runs crossed the plate on double and a single to left field. The last three runs of the inning scored when Amy Dunleavy hit a homerun over the left center fence, to take the 5-2 lead over SVSU.
Saginaw Valley regained their lead in the bottom of the second inning when they scored four runs to take the 6-5 advantage. Holmes led off the four run inning with a single to right field and the Cardinals loaded the bases on back-to-back walks from Kenyon and Amanda Kimes (Caledonia, Mich.). The first run came across the plate when Randall grounded out to third base, allowing Holmes to score from third.
Saginaw Valley knotted the score at 5-5 on back-to-back singles by Ashley Coffin (Sterling Heights, Mich./Stephenson HS) and Wellman, each scoring a run. The Cardinals took the 6-5 lead when sophomore Lindsay Hayward (Ancaster, Mich.) singled up the middle, bringing around Coffin.
The Bulldogs tied the score at 6-6 in the top of the fourth inning when Chelsea Morris hit a home run over the left field fence.
Saginaw Valley took back their lead for the third time in the contest when they rallied with two outs and scored two runs. Hayward and Happ started the rally when they had back-to-back singles. Both would come around to score when Holmes dug in and drove a single through the infield, giving the Cardinals an 8-6 advantage.
The Bulldogs came within one of the Cardinals in the top of the fifth inning when they loaded the bases and Michelle Tononi was hit by a pitch, bringing in a run. Ferris State tied the game at 8-8 on a passed ball and would take the 10-8 lead on a triple down the right field line, scoring two runs.
Ferris State went up 11-8 over the Cardinals on a sacrifice bunt, which allowed Morgan Kramerich to score from third base.
Saginaw Valley tied the score at 11-11 for the fifth time in the contest in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Cardinals first run of the inning came across the plate when Happ singled to right field, bringing around Coffin. The tying runs crossed the plate when Holmes, once again stepped in and lined a single through the infield that scored Hayward and Happ.
SVSU took the 12-11 advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning when Mackenzie Rousse (Bay City, Mich./Western HS) led off the inning with a single up the middle and would touch home on a Hayward double to right field.
The Bulldogs knotted the score at 12-12 in the top of the seventh inning when they capitalized on a Cardinals error. Saginaw Valley was unable to score in the bottom of the seventh, sending the contest into extra innings.
In the bottom of the tenth inning, Kimes was placed on second for the international tie breaker and advanced to third on a Rousse sacrifice bunt. Kimes scored the winning run of the contest when Randall hit a single, ending the contest with a 13-12 Cardinal victory.
Freshman Kayla Kazmierski (Pinconning, Mich.) got the start in the circle for SVSU, pitching 1.2 innings, while Jillian Williamson (Unionville, Mich./USA HS) pitched 2.2 innings in relief and Gehrls picked up the win pitching 5.2 innings in relief. Holmes led the way for the Cardinals with four runs batted in, while Wellman had three and Hayward had two runs batted in.
Saginaw Valley will be back in action when they return home for their final regular season game. The Cardinals will take on Hillsdale College on Tuesday (Apr. 24) at 3:30 PM.