Lake Superior State softball suffered an 8-0 loss in five innings to open Thursday's (April 14) Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Ferris State. In the second game the Lakers (4-26, 0-14 GLIAC) saw an early lead disappear en route to an 11-2 defeat.
The Bulldogs led 5-0 after three innings in the opener and scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the game to a five-inning affair. Megan Jean (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) pitched five scoreless innings for FSU, allowing three hits and a walk, and also striking out one batter to improve her overall record to 5-2 on the season.
Alyssa Boucher (L, 1-7) pitched four innings for the Lakers, allowing seven runs (five earned) and struck out one batter. Riley Durbano came on in the fifth inning to provide relief but could only muster one out before the Bulldogs had plated the clinching eighth run.
Emily Estep went 2-for-2 at the plate with a single in the third and fifth innings. Junior outfielder Taylor Steinhelper was the only other Laker to pick up a hit in the game. Lindsey Pajot (0-for-1) walked in the first inning and reached first base on a fielder's choice in the third.
Carly Banchiu opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with a fielder's choice that scored Steinhelper. Steinhelper led off with a single and later stole second base before Pajot singled her over to third base.
The Lakers wouldn't score again until freshman Katey Hendershott doubled to left center in the bottom of the fifth to score Banchiu. By that point, LSSU still trailed 6-2 after the Bulldogs scored four runs, three of which were unearned, in the top half of the fifth.
Freshman pitcher Alyssa Thayer (L, 1-8) was solid in the early going but got into trouble beginning in the fifth inning. Thayer allowed only one earned run through four innings and was tagged with an unearned run in the fourth. The defense behind Thayer committed three errors, which scored four unearned runs during the game.
Durbano took over in the sixth inning after Thayer allowed the first two batters to reach safely. The first batter Durbano faced, Bailey Darwin (2-for-5), tripled to right field to put the Bulldogs ahead 8-2. Darwin scored on Casey Bias' ground out in the next at-bat and the Bulldogs added two runs in the third to go ahead 11-2. Sam Bates (W, 4-2) came on in the third inning and finished off the final five innings to squander any attempts at a come back bid by the Lakers.
Hendershott went 2-for-2 with an RBI double and Pajot finished 2-for-4 to pace LSSU offensively in Game 2.
The Lakers next host Malone on Friday and Walsh on Saturday in Midland, Mich., on the campus of Northwood University. Both doubleheaders will be played at Fisher Softball Stadium. Friday's games against Malone are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., while Saturday's games against Walsh will be played at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.