Release courtesy of the WSU Sports Information Department
Findlay, Ohio -- The Wayne State University
softball team (34-20) earned the 2012 GLIAC Tournament title with
its fourth consecutive one-run victory edging Ferris State
University (31-24) 3-2 on Sunday morning at the Marathon Diamonds
complex in Findlay, Ohio.
WSU began play on Sunday needing just one win against the Bulldogs to claim the tournament championship after being victorious in yesterday's winner's bracket final (7-6) over FSU. Ferris reached the championship round by blanking Grand Valley, 2-0, Saturday afternoon, but needing two wins over the Warriors on Sunday in the double-elimination format.
Sunday's contest did not start promising for Wayne State as FSU leadoff batter Makenzi Peterson hit the fifth pitch of the game over the right field fence. However, WSU starter Sam Cain (Taylor, Mich. / Kennedy) settled down and retired 11 of the next 13 Bulldog batters, until a two-out hit by pitch in the fourth. FSU's Stephanie Dusendang then singled, but Cain recorded a fly out to end the inning.
Meanwhile, Bulldog starter Dana Bowler (16-11) allowed a leadoff walk in the first to sophomore second baseman Nikki Fulton (Stratford, Ont. / St. Michael Catholic S.S.), and then junior right fielder Stephanie Foreman (Cambridge, Ont. / Preston) worked a leadoff walk in the second by fouling off three consecutive 3-2 pitches for a nine-pitch at bat. Sophomore Julie Ingratta (Markham, Ont.) followed Foreman's free pass with a single to left on an 0-2 offering. Freshman center fielder Shannon Hilton (Gilford, Ont. / Bradford) advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and, with two outs, senior shortstop Lauren Histed (Shelby Twp., Mich. / Utica) delivered a two-run single through the right side putting WSU ahead 2-1.
The Warriors added to their lead in the third as senior first baseman Rebecca Ryan (Westland, Mich. / Dearborn Divine Child) singled with one out. Foreman followed with a base hit advancing pinch-runner Makelle Barski (Trenton, Mich.) to second. A fielder's choice erased Barski at third, but Hilton's base hit was stopped by the FSU second baseman who didn't have a play at first, but bobbled the ball allowing Foreman to score from second on the play with what would be the eventual game-winning run.
The Bulldogs went 1-2-3 in the fifth but Amy Dunleavy led off the sixth with home run to left field cutting the WSU lead to 3-2. Chelsea Morris then doubled and pinch-runner Brittney Buti went to third on a sacrifice bunt setting up a key moment in the contest. FSU's Lindsey Petit hit a ground ball to short, where Histed realized Buti was off the bag at third and threw behind her and she was eventually tagged out at the plate. Meanwhile, Petit tried to advance to second but a strong throw by Warrior catcher Emily Bryce (Rochester Hills, Mich. / Rochester Adams) to Fulton completed the unusual 6524 double play.
Ferris State went 1-2-3 in the seventh as Histed went into the hole at short with Ryan making a nice scoop at first on the game's final out.
Wayne State held an 8-5 edge in hits with Hilton going 2-for-2 plus a key sacrifice, and sophomore left fielder Logan White (Brantford, Ont. / Johnson C.V.I.) going 2-for-4.
Dunleavy had two hits for the Bulldogs.
Cain improved to 22-10 allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts and one walk. Bowler struck out three and walked four while surrendering three runs (two earned) on eight hits in six innings of work.
Wayne State will learn of its tournament seed during the NCAA selection show on Monday, which can be watched on NCAA.com at 10 a.m. Click here for a link to the NCAA Division II Softball Home Page on NCAA.com.