Grand Valley State University softball team (17-4) defeated rival Ferris State University (10-17) on April 2 by a score of 3-1 before losing the second game of the doubleheader 8-3.
“We played well in the first game, obviously behind Hannah Beatus, I think we always seem to have a bit more confidence,” coach Dana Callihan said. “In the second game we just let the other team take control of things and we didn’t control things the way we should, both offensively and defensively. We have to get that back somehow. ‘another one.
Beatus, a redshirt junior pitcher, got the Lakers off to a flying start, allowing no hits in the first inning, which gave the Lakers offense the chance to take an early lead. Senior infielder Taylor Rieger had the Lakers on the board early, as she hit a brace into left center field to bring home leading lead fielder Joanna Cirrincione, who was walked to start the end of the first round.
“It’s always important to score first in that first inning, especially just to set the tone for the game and set the tone for our pitcher going forward,” Cirrincione said.
The Lakers then scored their three runs in the first inning, as Rieger and redshirt junior player Lydia Gobel scored the second and third runs for GVSU. With an early 3-0 lead, the Bulldogs responded in the top of the second inning, scoring their only run of Game 1.
For the remainder of the contest, it was a pitching battle as no more runs were scored in the final five innings, which was led by Beatus, who allowed just one hit in that span. .
“She (Beatus) is going to get more ground balls, misses, that kind of stuff, so the defense is going to get a chance to play the ball a bit more and they did a good job,” Callihan said.
Going into Game 2, the tables seemed to turn as this time it was the Bulldogs who got off to a fast start, taking a 3-0 lead behind two homers in the first inning.
With the early deficit, Callihan made a pitching change to start the second inning, firing junior Hannah Dieck and putting second Genesis Eggart on the mound.
“You could just tell Dieck wasn’t as strong as she should have been,” Callihan said. “Even the missed shots weren’t where they needed to be and stuff like that. So I just felt we had to make a change to see if we could change the momentum a bit.
Following the pitching change, the Lakers were able to get within one run of the Bulldogs, trailing 4-3 late in the third inning. However, the Bulldogs once again increased their lead in the top of the fourth inning. In perhaps the most crucial point of the game with the bases loaded and two outs, FSU was able to hit a single to center field, bringing all three runners home and gaining a 7-3 advantage over GVSU.
Despite losing the game, the Lakers nearly doubled the number of hits finishing the game with 10 while FSU had only six.
Earlier in the week, it was a similar situation for the Lakers as they beat Purdue University Northwest (11-5) in Game 1 of the doubleheader before falling in Game 2.
“I think we have to come back and be resilient after losing the second game of two doubles,” Cirrincione said. “I think it’s just a matter of bouncing back and setting things up.”
Looking ahead, the Lakers will travel to Caledonia to face Davenport University (10-8) this week on April 6.