Through Saturday night into Sunday morning in Big Rapids, Mich., there was a steady rain.
On Sunday afternoon (Apr. 15), everything turned to a Purple reign.
Sunday at Ferris State, the Eagles ended a long week on the road with a doubleheader sweep at Ferris State, winning 7-4 and 5-4. The two victories up AU's record to 34-12, 18-8 in GLIAC play. Ashland is in first in the GLIAC South and has the second best winning percentage in the league. AU has a .692 winning percentage and Grand Valley State is at .731. GVSU is 36-10 overall and 19-7 in the conference. In last week's regional rankings, the Eagles were ranked second and the Lakers were third. Stay tuned to see how this plays out.
In Sunday's first game, AU was clinging to a 3-2 lead heading into the top of the seventh. The Eagles scored four times in that inning to take a 7-2 lead. FSU scored twice against senior Emlyn Knerem (Brunswick, Ohio) in the bottom of the seventh, but the road back against the AU ace was too long. Knerem, now 23-2, allowed four runs on eight hits. She didn't walk anyone and struck out eight.
In that seventh-inning outburst, junior catcher Tawna Garver (Mansfield, Ohio/Hillsdale) had a two-run single and junior first baseman Franki Gironda (Akron, Ohio/Hoban) and senior shortstop Bri Woody (Cleveland, Ohio/Magnificat) had RBI singles. Garver was 2-for-4 with two RBI as was sophomore second baseman Cayla Seilder (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon Washington). Garver owns a nine-game hitting streak.
Gironda was 2-for-4 in the first game and freshman designated player Jerrica Young (Loudonville, Ohio) was 3-for-4. Ashland banged out 13 hits, all off of Dana Bowler (10-9), who pitched 6.2 innings.
FSU got a homer from Amy Dunleavy and a double from Morgan Kamerich.
In the second game, the Bulldogs (21-21/12-12) carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning. The Eagles scored four times in the stanza to go in front, 5-2. Taylor Menhart (Twinsburg, Ohio) swatted her 11th double of the year to drive in two runs. Menhart's shot came with one out and the Bulldogs got a second out and looked to be able to dodge further trouble, but sophomore outfielder Kourtney Yarnall (Canton, Ohio/Perry) singled to bring in two more runs.
Kamerich had a two-run double in the sixth to get the 'Dogs to within a run, but that closed out all the scoring in the game. In the seventh inning, FSU had runners on the corners when freshman Amber McDermott (Creston, Ohio/Norwayne) struck out Liz Hamming to end the game. The Bulldogs had used an infield error and a single to mount that rally. McDermott is 9-6. She pitched her ninth complete game of the year, allowing four runs on 10 hits. She walked three and whiffed four.
Senior third baseman Alyssa Kelley (Mentor, Ohio) was 3-for-3 and Gironda was 2-for-3. For Kelley, this was her team-high 17th multi-hit game. She is riding a six-game hitting streak.
The Eagles will host Lake Erie this coming Wednesday (Apr. 18, 3:30 p.m.) in a GLIAC doubleheader at Brookside Park.