The Ferris softball team is coming off a pair of tightly contested contests at Saginaw Valley State University Saturday, March 31, in which they lost both games in a GLIAC doubleheader.
The Bulldogs fell to the Cardinals 7-6 in the first matchup and then 8-4 in the second game. The second game was delayed due to heavy rain and harsh winds and was postponed until the morning.
The Bulldogs also dropped two games on opening day in Big Rapids in another GLIAC doubleheader against the Northwood Timberwolves Friday, March 30, in which they lost 5-2 and 2-1.
The team is currently under the helm of first year head coach Kristin Janes. Janes is a former Division II student-athlete in the GLIAC and has spent her last five years as the head coach at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. She flipped a team that went 0-42 the year before she came in into a competitive NCAA Division II women’s softball team in one of the best junior college conferences in the nation.
The Bulldogs are very excited to have Janes by their side this season.
“One thing that Coach Janes has been stressing is making sure we all give 100 percent effort no matter what and to push ourselves to do better everyday,” Ferris sophomore first basemen Katrina Merrick said.
The team is currently 9-17 overall on the season and now is 1-9 in conference play. The season has been a rollercoaster ride thus far, where the team has struggled to find consistent play.
“I think the key to consistent play would be scoring runners in scoring positions. We have struggled to get runners across home plate by not executing when hitting. We need to be more consistent at the plate,” Ferris senior pitcher Sam Bates said.
The team has struggled to capitalize on scoring runs in year, as they currently sit in last place in the GLIAC with only 96 runs. The team has shown signs on the long ball this season, as there have been nine home runs thus far.
Many of the Bulldogs’ contests this season could have been flipped around the other way. Seven of their losses have been decided by two runs or less, which goes to show the competitiveness of this team.
“Our team’s best attribute is our chemistry. Anyone can bring 30 girls to a softball field and ask them to play but it takes special people to form bonds and chemistry with one another. And that chemistry is what makes a great team. Being able to bond on and off the field,” Ferris senior second basemen Lexee Summers said. “Knowing each other in a softball aspect as well as a personal aspect. The better you get to know your teammates, the more familiar you can be with how they play, which makes playing next to one another easier.”
Getting people on base and consistently keeping them in scoring position will be key for this team moving forward in conference play.
“I personally believe that Mrs. Coach Janes has stressed many things but she mainly stresses effort. Not giving up on plays, diving for balls to keep runners from advancing and giving it your all 100 percent of the time,” Bates said. “Our team’s best attribute is our togetherness. We are very close on and off the team. We focus on working as one team instead of one individual.”
The Bulldogs will be back in action as they host the Ashland Eagles at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, for a doubleheader.
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