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NOTE: Wednesday's (April 9) non-conference home doubleheader vs. Wayne State has been cancelled and won't be made up. For more information, please visit this link: WSU Cancellation Release
FSU Softball At A Glance: The Ferris State University softball team will play eight games in a five-day period this week, beginning Wednesday (April 9) with a non-conference doubleheader against the Wayne State University Warriors at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The opening pitch of the first game is scheduled for 4 p.m. (EDT). The Bulldogs then travel to Ohio this weekend (April 11-13) for six contests. Ferris takes on the Tiffin University Dragons this Friday (April 11) in a non-league twinbill at Tiffin, Ohio, with game one starting at 4 p.m. (EDT). The Bulldogs then resume Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action on Saturday (April 12) going up against the Findlay Oilers in Findlay, Ohio. Game one is slated to commence at 1 p.m. (EDT). FSU wraps up the week's play this Sunday (April 13) facing the Ashland University Eagles in its second straight GLIAC doubleheader at Ashland, Ohio. The opening tilt is slated to get underway at 1 p.m. (EDT).
The 2008 Season: Ferris State improved to 16-9 overall and is 7-1 in the GLIAC after compiling a 5-1 record in its last six contests to date. The Bulldogs, who have won 11 of their last 12 outings, are 6-0 at home, 3-1 on the road, and 7-8 at neutral sites this season.
Wayne State improved to 20-9 overall and is 8-0 in the GLIAC after sweeping Lake Superior State last Sunday (April 6) in a conference doubleheader at Detroit, Mich. The Warriors posted a 3-1 victory in game one and then registered a 9-3 triumph in the second game to win their 12th consecutive contest to date. Wayne State is listed among the teams receiving votes in the latest (April 2) National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Poll.
Tiffin is 15-6 overall as a result of notching a pair of non-conference victories over Hillsdale last Sunday (April 6) in Tiffin, Ohio. The Dragons produced a pair of 6-5 wins over the Chargers to extend their winning streak to three games. TU will play six more contests before hosting Ferris State this Friday (April 11) in a non-league twinbill.
Findlay was 5-18 overall and 3-5 in the GLIAC following a conference doubleheader split against Gannon last Sunday (April 6) in Erie, Pa. The Oilers dropped a 6-5 decision to the Lady Knights in the opener before claiming a 6-5 win in the twinbill finale. UF visits Northern Kentucky this Thursday (April 10) for two non-league encounters.
Ashland improved its overall mark to 13-11 and is 4-4 in GLIAC action after winning a pair of league tilts against Mercyhurst last Sunday (April 6) at Erie, Pa. The Eagles have won three of their last four contests and are midst a current three-game winning streak.
Last Week: The Bulldogs are 5-1 in their last six outings, which began with a league doubleheader sweep at Northwood last Saturday (April 5). Ferris State then split a conference twinbill at Saginaw Valley State last Sunday (April 6) before racking up a pair of home non-league wins versus Cornerstone Monday (April 7) in Big Rapids.
The Coach: Ferris State – Keri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 11th season, 329-218-1 (.601) – (22-23-0 vs. Wayne State, 2-2-0 vs. Tiffin, 19-4-0 vs. Findlay, 22-12-0 vs. Ashland). Becker, the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State Softball history, has guided the Bulldogs to consecutive (1998-99) NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament appearances. The 1998 squad placed third nationally while the 1999 team set a school record for single-season victories (46 total). Becker has twice been recognized as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) Coach of the Year (1997 and 2003).
2008 GLIAC Coaches Preseason Poll: Ferris State was selected to finish tied for third place in the 2008 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Softball Coaches Preseason Poll with 79 points and one first-place vote. The Bulldogs tied Gannon, which had two first-place votes, for third place honors. Wayne State was tabbed as the conference favorite as the Warriors received 94 points along with four first-place votes. Grand Valley State earned second place in the 11-team poll with 89 points and four first-place votes. Ashland was chosen to finish fifth with 63 points while Findlay claimed a 10th-place 20 points total.
The Series: Ferris State is 38-82-0 versus Wayne State, 2-2-0 against Tiffin, 19-4-0 versus Findlay, and 22-14-0 against Ashland.
36th Season – The 2008 campaign represents the 36th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are 686-625-3 overall (.523) since the program’s inception in 1973. During that period, FSU has compiled 15 20-plus win seasons, including three consecutive (1997-99) 40 or more victory campaigns.
A Season Ago – Ferris State compiled a 1-3 mark against Wayne State last season with the lone triumph coming in a 4-0 decision at the Wayne State Invitational (March 24). The Bulldogs were 4-0 versus Findlay, which included a home series sweep (April 15) as the Bulldogs prevailed 8-0 in six innings for the opener and 10-0 in five frames in game two. FSU also registered a pair of victoris over Ashland (April 16) at home, winning 5-3 and 10-2 in six innings.
Career Best – Junior first baseman Amanda Jager’s (Kalamazoo/Comstock) team-high 10 doubles in 24 games this spring represents a career season high, eclipsing her eight doubles in 41 contests a season ago.
Getting Offensive – Ferris State has registered a .328 batting average (103-314) in its last 12 outings to date with a .481 slugging percentage as the Bulldogs are averaging 7.25 runs per game (87 total) during that span.
Quick Starters – The Bulldogs have produced 61.8% (81-131) of their scoring output this season in the first three innings, which includes a 41-to-24 first-inning advantage.
Nine Is Fine – Junior pitcher Sarah Mueller (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) became the ninth hurler in Ferris State annals to notch at least 30 career victories and her 31 career wins to date is the sixth most total in the program’s history. Mueller is two wins shy of moving into a tie for fourth place with Sharon Stickney (1979-81) and Amy Kilbourn (1992-95), who each chalked up 33 career decisions.
Her First – Sophomore pitcher Rhea Flores (Dearborn Heights/Southgate Anderson) earned her first collegiate win in the Bulldogs 13-2 home win over Cornerstone (4/7). Flores, who made her third appearance this season in the contest, fanned five Golden Eagles' batters and allowed six hits in the five-inning non-league encounter.
Upcoming Milestone – Senior third baseman Katie Kraai (Zeeland) is only two more doubles away from tying Anne Bentley’s (1997-00) school-record 43 career doubles. Kraai, who has nine second-base hits this spring, is presently tied with Jody Gifford (1996-99) for second place on the alll-time charts. Kraai amassed a career season-high 14 doubles a season ago.
National Rankings – The Bulldogs are ranked 12th among the NCAA Division II statistical leaders this week (April 6) in doubles per game (1.79 avg.) and are listed 55th in earned run average (2.25). Individually, Amanda Jager ranks 14th in doubles (0.43), 18th in on-base percentage (.544), 39th in walks (0.61), and 42nd in slugging percentage (.721). Katie Kraai is 57th in doubles a contest (0.35).
Preseason Ranking – The Bulldogs were ranked 25th nationally in the 2008 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. FSU, which finished the 2007 season ranked 22nd in the NFCA’s final poll, received nine points in the 2008 preseason poll which was released Jan. 30.