---April Ehlers fanned nine batters, including five of the first six she faced, while allowing just two hits in a 3-0 victory over Ferris State.

By Mike Anderson, NKU Sports Information

Box score

UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – Cara Parker provided the offense while April Ehlers shut down the opposition as the Northern Kentucky University softball team posted a 3-0 victory over Ferris State in the opening game of the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament.

NKU advances to take on the winner of the Saginaw Valley/Lewis contest at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Ehlers (19-12) struck out five of the first six batters she faced en route to a nine-strikeout, two-hit shutout over the Bulldogs.  The sophomore got some help from her defense to retire 12 straight batters in one stretch.

Parker, meanwhile, was a firecracker for the Norse at the plate, getting the offense going in the fourth inning after Amanda Smith looped a single to center field to start things off.  Shatona Campbell grounded into a fielder’s choice before Parker belted a two-run blast over the left field wall to give the Norse the early advantage.

---Cara Parker rounds the bases after hitting her seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot over the left field wall.

The senior third baseman, starting her 162nd straight contest, struck again in the sixth inning, driving in a run on a sharp double to the center field fence.

All told, the Norse picked up seven hits on the day, with Gretchen Lorenz slapping a pair of two-out base hits.

NKU improved to 32-21 on the season, and 10-2 all time against Ferris State.  The Bulldogs fell to 33-9, with two of those losses coming to NKU this season.