Conference Contenders

Ferris waits for GLIAC Season

After a solid season in the GLIAC for Ferris State softball in 2013, the team looks to use the momentum of their current three-game win streak to propel them into conference play.

The Bulldogs finished the 2013 campaign with a 20-6 record in the GLIAC and have a 5-6 overall record early in the 2014 campaign. They will face Lake Erie on March 29 in Painesville, Ohio to begin conference play for 2014.

Leading the way at the plate early in the season is sophomore outfielder Alyssa Smith. Smith is batting .400 with two runs batted in and also leads the squad in stolen bases with six.

Junior pitcher Cara DeLange has been solid for the Bulldogs’ pitching staff so far this season. DeLange has logged 17 innings inside the circle and has a 2.06 earned run average with 20 strikeouts.

DeLange, along with senior pitcher Amy Dunleavy, will have to bring their A-game each time they step onto the field during GLIAC play, as the conference features some dangerous hitters.

Finishing ahead of the Bulldogs in the 2013 season and taking the GLIAC crown was Grand Valley State. GVSU finished conference play with a remarkable 24-2 record and post an 11-4 overall record to begin this season.

The Bulldogs may not get many chances to avenge their losses to Grand Valley with the weather standing put and holding Ferris indoors as March turns into April.

“I do hope to be outside as soon as possible,” freshman infielder Sydney Hasselbach said, “but it doesn’t look too likely.

On March 25, three days before Ferris is scheduled to go down to Ohio to open their GLIAC season later than scheduled, Mother Nature dumped even more snow on Big Rapids.

Ferris is schedule to play Lake Erie and Walsh University on March 29-30, respectively.

The weather in Ohio isn’t expected to cooperate either, with temperatures at Lake Erie dipping to 29 degrees with a rain and snow mix expected.

It’s expected to be clear skies and 50 degrees in Canton, Ohio, where Ferris will travel to see Walsh University.

The Bulldogs will face Grand Valley on April 5 in Big Rapids with the first game of the double-header beginning at 1 p.m.

The Bulldogs were slated to begin their conference season on March 22-23 with double-headers against Ashland and Malone. Those games were cancelled due to weather. The next opportunity to play was on March 26 against Lewis (Ill.) at 3 p.m., but it was again cancelled due to inclement weather.

“Weather aside, we are staying mentally prepared,” junior shortstop Michelle Tononi said. “Taking it day by day hoping fro some warm weather.

Ferris will have their next opportunity, weather-permitting, for home games at 1 and 3 p.m. on April 5 against the Grand Valley State Lakers.