The Grand Valley State University (17-4) softball team defeated rival Ferris State University (10-17) on April 2 by a score of 3-1 before dropping 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 little bit more confidence,” said coach Dana Callihan. “In the second game we just let the other team take control of things and we didn’t control things the way we needed to, both offensively and defensively. We’ve got to get that back somehow.”
Beatus, a redshirt junior pitcher got the Lakers off to a good start, allowing zero hits in the first inning which gave the Laker offense the chance to gain an early lead. Senior infielder Taylor Rieger had the Lakers on the board early, as she hit a double into left-center field to bring home lead-off hitter senior outfielder Joanna Cirrincione, who was walked to start the bottom of the first inning.
“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 went on to score all three of their runs in the first inning, as Rieger and redshirt junior infielder Lydia Gobel scored the second and third runs for GVSU. With the early 3-0 lead, the Bulldogs did respond in the top of the second inning, scoring their only run of the first game.
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 only gave up one hit in that span.
“She (Beatus) is going to get more ground balls, missed hits, those kinds of things, so the defense is going to have the chance to play the ball a little bit more and they did a nice job,” Callihan said.
At the start of the second game, the roles seemed to reverse as this time the Bulldogs were the ones to get out to a quick start, gaining a 3-0 lead behind two home runs in the first inning.
With the early deficit, Callihan made a pitching change to begin the second inning, pulling junior Hannah Dieck and putting sophomore Genesis Eggart on the mound.
“You could just tell that Dieck wasn’t as sharp as she needed to be,” Callihan said. “Just even the miss pitches were not where they needed to be and stuff like that. So I just felt like we needed to make a change to see if we could change the momentum a little bit.”
Following the pitching change, the Lakers were able to get within one point of the bulldogs, trailing 4-3 at the end of the third inning. However, the Bulldogs once again grew 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 home all three runners on base and gaining a 7-3 advantage over GVSU.
Despite losing the game, the Lakers had nearly double the number of hits as they finished the game with 10 while FSU only had six.
Earlier in the week, it was a similar situation for the Lakers as they defeated Purdue University Northwest (11-5) in the first game of the doubleheader before falling in the second.
“I think we need to come back and be resilient after losing the second game of two doubleheaders,” Cirrincione said. “I think it’s just a matter of bouncing back and getting things put together.”
Looking ahead, the Lakers will travel to Caledonia to take on Davenport University (10-8) this week on April 6.