GVSU Pitching Earns #14 Lakers Two Wins Over FSU
Sophomore Tonya Calkins led the Laker offense by going 4-for-6 on Saturday with a pair of hits in each game
Sophomore Tonya Calkins led the Laker offense by going 4-for-6 on Saturday with a pair of hits in each game

March 31, 2012

Box Score - Game One (W, 3-1)

Box Score - Game Two (W, 2-1)

Allendale, Mich. - Grand Valley State started off a long homestand in strong fashion on Saturday afternoon in Allendale, as the #14 Lakers swept West Michigan rival Ferris State in a pair of low-scoring affairs. GVSU got a very good performance from senior Andrea Nicholson in a 3-1 opening game win and capped off the day with a 2-1 victory behind the arm of junior Hannah Santora and some clutch defensive plays.

After scoring 24 runs (including 17 in game one) against Northwood on Wednesday (Mar. 28), the Lakers turned to their pitching on Saturday to carry them through the doubleheader. Nicholson and Santora were both terrific, combining to give up just nine hits and only one earned run, as each righthander tossed a complete game. FSU managed to hit just .176 for the day. With the wins, Grand Valley State improves to 26-4 overall and 9-1 in GLIAC play, as the Lakers have won nine consecutive games. The Bulldogs fall to 11-15 and 2-6 in the conference.

GVSU got on the board early in game one, scoring in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, sophomore shortstop Briauna Taylor ripped a pitch down the third base line that deflected off the glove of Ferris State third baseman Makenzi Peterson's. The ball ricocheted into foul territory near left field and Taylor cruised into second base with a double. After moving to third base with two outs, Taylor was brought home on a sharp single up the middle from junior Emily Jones, whose hit deflected off of FSU pitcher Dana Bowler for a 1-0 lead.

The score would stay 1-0 until the fifth inning when senior left fielder Maggie Kerrigan led off with a double off the fence in right field. The next batter, junior Nellie Kosola, singled back up the middle. Kerrigan rounded third and headed for home, trying to beat the throw from center fielder Morgan Kramerich to catcher Liz Hamming. As Kerrigan neared the plate, Hamming did a great job blocking her path, but Kerrigan snuck her hand around Hamming and touched the plate, giving GVSU a 2-0 advantage. Three batters later, with Kosola on third, Jones doubled to right center field, easily scoring Kosola and giving the Lakers a 3-0 tally.



With one out in the top of the sixth, Ferris State finally got on the board. Peterson homered to left field for her first roundtripper of the season, cutting the score to 3-1. Nicholson got out of the inning with consecutive ground ball outs. In the seventh, FSU put two runners on base with two outs, but Nicholson induced a pop up that senior catcher Carli Raisutis easily handled in foul territory and the Lakers secured the 3-1 victory.

For the second straight game, Nicholson did not record a strikeout (the only two times she has done so this season), but she forced nine outs in the air and 12 groundball outs. In moving to 11-3 on the year, Nicholson gave up just four hits and one run, outdueling FSU's Bowler, who allowed three runs on eight hits.

Jones went 2-for-3 with a double and a pair of RBI, while sophomore Tonya Calkins was also 2-for-3 in game one. Taylor and Kerrigan also recorded a double.

In game two, it was Ferris State getting on the board first, scoring a run on a single up the middle from pitcher Amy Dunleavy. The hit scored Peterson, who led off the inning with a single. It was only the eighth time this season that GVSU has not scored the first run of a game.

Grand Valley State would answer in its next at-bat. Junior Kayleigh Bertram doubled down the left field line with one out in the top of the second. Calkins then delivered a single to center field that was hit so hard that Bertram had no chance to round third and score. At this point the Lakers had runners on the corners with one out. Sophomore Miranda Cleary followed with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Bertram and tied the game.

FSU looked as if it was going to re-gain the lead in the bottom of the third. With runners on first and second and two outs, Lainee Clay hit a sharp grounder to shortstop. As Taylor came in to field the ball - and as FSU's Lindsey Pettit was running from second to third - she lost track of the ball as Pettit ran in front of her on her way to third base. The ball deflected off Taylor and bounced behind her, near the cut of the grass. Pettit was waved around third, but Taylor re-grouped, raced to the ball, turned and fired a strike to home plate and junior catcher Emily Holt, who tagged Pettit for the third out of the inning.

The Lakers then added a run in the top of the fourth, which would prove to be the game-winning tally. Jones was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, then moved to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt from Bertram. With two outs and Jones on third base after a wild pitch, Cleary delivered a double off the fence in right field that easily scored Jones and put GVSU on top, 2-1.

After setting down the Bulldogs in order in the fourth, Santora mishandled a groundball to lead off the fifth inning and put a runner on first. Moments later, however, Kramerich hit a hard grounder to Calkins at first base. Calkins turned and stepped on first and fired to Taylor covering second base, as she tagged out the FSU runner for a big double play. Santora struck out Pettit looking to end the fifth.

GVSU could not provide any more runs for Santora, who took the one-run lead into the bottom of the seventh. After getting the first out on a flyball, Santora hit pinch hitter Bianca Vasovski with a pitch, putting her on first with one out. Peterson, the next batter, then hit a sharp liner to Bertram at second base, who caught it and picked the runner off of first for a game-ending double play.

Santora pushes her record to 12-1 on the year by giving up one unearned run on five hits in seven innings. She walked two batters, but struck out seven Bulldogs in the win. Calkins was the only Laker with more than one hit, as she again went 2-for-3 to cap off a 4-for-6 day at the plate.

The same two teams will meet on Sunday afternoon (April 1) in Allendale. GVSU and Ferris State will begin their doubleheader at noon on Sunday.

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