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Dates/Start Times:Wednesday (April 8) at Big Rapids, Mich. - 3:30 p.m. (EDT) & 5:30 p.m. (EDT); Friday (April 10) at Big Rapids, Mich. - 3:30 p.m. (EDT) & 5:30 p.m. (EDT); Saturday (April 11) at Big Rapids, Mich. - 1 p.m. (EDT) & 3 p.m. (EDT)
Gametracker Links: vs. Northwood-Game 1; vs. Northwood-Game 2
vs. Findlay-Game 1; vs. Findlay-Game 2
vs. Hillsdale-Game 1; vs. Hillsdale-Game 2
Radio Broadcast: None.
April 8 & 10 Game Promotion: Student Appreciation Day (Free Food); April 11 Game Promotion: Easter Egg Hunt.
FSU Softball At A Glance: The nationally-ranked Ferris State University softball team will play six Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) outings all at home this week, starting with this Wednesday’s (April 8) doubleheader versus the Northwood Timberwolves at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Game times are 3:30 p.m. (EDT) and 5:30 p.m. (EDT). The Bulldogs then entertain the Findlay Oilers this Friday (April 10) in a conference twinbill with game one starting at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) followed by game two at 5:30 p.m. (EDT). Ferris then hosts the Hillsdale Chargers this Saturday (April 11) to conclude the week’s action on the diamond. First pitch for the opening tilt is 1 p.m. (EDT) with the game two encounter to commence around 3 p.m. (EDT).
The 2009 Season: Ferris State sports a 21-3 overall record and is 7-1 in the GLIAC to date this season. The Bulldogs, who have presently won 10 of their last 11 contests, are 4-0 at home, 5-1 on the road, and 12-2 at neutral sites for the 2009 campaign.
Northwood has compiled a 9-17 overall record, which includes a 3-9 mark in the GLIAC. The Timberwolves suffered a pair of conference setbacks to nationally-ranked Ferris State last Sunday (April 5) at NU's Fisher Stadium in Midland, Mich., losing 6-1 in the opener and then falling 4-0 to the Bulldogs in game two. Northwood is 0-3 on the road, 4-7 at home, and 5-7 at neutral sites this spring.
Findlay is presently 14-11 overall and 1-9 in conference play this season. The Oilers, which is midst a current four-game losing skid, dropped a pair of home league contests, 3-0 and 8-0, to Wayne State last Sunday (April 5) at UF's Anderson Field in Findlay, Ohio. UF hosts Tiffin in a two-game GLIAC set this Wednesday (April 8) before visiting Ferris State. Findlay is 5-6 in away games, 2-5 at home, and 7-0 at neutral sites this season.
Hillsdalehas registered a 10-14 overall record with a 4-8 GLIAC ledger. The Chargers dropped a pair of home conference decisions to Saginaw Valley State last Sunday (April 5) at HC's Johnny Williams Field in Hillsdale, Mich., as the Cardinals prevailed by 5-2 and 5-3 scores. Hillsdale, which is 2-5 in its last seven outings, visits Wayne State this Wednesday (April 8) and Grand Valley State this Friday (April 11) prior to its doubleheader at Ferris State. The Chargers are 7-10 on the road and 3-4 at home this season.
The Coach: Ferris State – Keri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 12th season, 369-230-1 (.616) – (29-18-0 vs. Northwood, 20-5-0 vs. Findlay, 17-10-0 vs. Hillsdale). Becker, the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State Softball history, has guided the Bulldogs to three (1998, 1999, and 2008) NCAA Division II National Softball Championship Tournament appearances. The 1998 squad placed third nationally while the 1999 team set a school record for single-season victories (46 total). The 2008 squad tied for fifth-place honors after capturing the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional title. Becker, who has been recognized as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) Coach of the Year three times (1997, 2003, and 2008) was a member of the 2008 National Fastpitch Coaches Association's (NFCA)/NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
2009 GLIAC Coaches Preseason Poll: Ferris State has been picked as the favorite to win the 2009 GLIAC Regular-Season Championship as the Bulldogs took six of the 10 first-place votes and finished with 78 total points in the 2009 conference preseason poll. The top billing in the preseason coaches poll is a first for Ferris State since the poll debuted in the 2002 campaign. Prior to this season, FSU's highest placing in the poll was in 2006 when the Bulldogs received a second-place 88 total points and three first-place votes. Each of the GLIAC's 10 head softball coaches ranked each of the conference teams, but weren't allowed to vote for their own squad. The first-place team on each ballot received nine points while the second-place team earned eight points, etc.
The All-Time Series: Ferris State is 52-39-1 against Northwood, 20-5-0 versus Findlay and 46-30-0 against Hillsdale.
37th Season – The 2009 campaign represents the 37th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are currently 726-637-3 overall (.531) since the program’s inception in 1973. During that period, FSU has compiled 16 20-plus win seasons, including three consecutive (1997-99) 40 or more victory campaigns.
A Season Ago vs. Northwood/Findlay/Hillsdale – Ferris State went 2-2 against Saginaw Valley State. The Bulldogs split a regular-season doubleheader at SVSU (April 6), losing 3-2 in game one before registering a 4-3 triumph in the eight-inning second game. The Cardinals then bested the Bulldogs at the 2008 GLIAC Tournament (May 7) in Midland, Mich., with a 10-4 win. However, Ferris avenged the loss at the 2008 NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional (May 7) in Edwardsville, Ill., by notching a 1-0 victory. FSU compiled a 2-0 record versus Lake Superior State as the Bulldogs swept the Lakers in a regular-season league doubleheader at Big Rapids. Ferris posted a 13-0 win in a five-inning tilt and racked up a 15-2 five-inning decision over the LSSU in the nightcap. Ferris State produced a 3-1 mark against Northwood, which featured a regular-season conference sweep at Midland (April 5) as the Bulldogs prevailed 14-6 in five innings and 9-5 in the second game. The two teams met again later in the month (April 22) and split a non-league twinbill at Midland. FSU claimed a 9-2 win in the opener before being dealt a 4-3 loss by the Timberwolves in game two.
National Ranking – Ferris State ranks seventh in the latest 2009 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, which was released last Wednesday (April 1). The Bulldogs earned 274 points in the poll after garnering a sixth-place 283 points in the prior poll (3/25). Ferris had been listed seventh in the two prior polls (3/11 & 18).
No Place Like Home – Freshman third baseman Makenzi Peterson (Big Rapids) is batting a team-high .636 average in the Bulldogs’ four home contests this season with seven hits in 11 at bats. Peterson also leads FSU in slugging percentage (.818) and on-base percentage (.692) to go with a team-high tying three multiple-hit games.
Two More – Senior first baseman Amanda Jager (Kalamazoo/Comstock) is two home runs away from tying Emily McLean (2003-06; 19 home runs) for second place among Ferris State’s all-time home runs leaders. Jager has currently smacked 17 career roundtrippers in 157 games, which includes a pair of four-base hits this spring.
Six Straight – Ferris State has already reached the 20-win plateau this season with a 6-1 triumph at Northwood (April 5). The Bulldogs, who are currently 21-3 overall this campaign, have now generated at least 20 single-season victories the last six consecutive seasons (2004-09).
Multiple-Hits Leader – Junior designated player Rhea Flores (Dearborn Heights/Southgate Anderson) has amassed a team-leading seven multiple-hit games in 21 contests this season, which includes six two-hit game performances. Flores produced four multi-hit game efforts in 32 outings a season ago. Flores’ 24 hits in 72 at bats to date this spring marks a career season best, eclipsing her 21 hits in 73 official plate appearances for the 2008 campaign.
Perfect Start – Junior pitcher Kayle Stevenson (Holland/West Ottawa) is 6-0 in the circle this season with a team-leading 0.35 earned run average (two earned runs allowed) in 40.1 innings. Stevenson has fanned a squad second-most 34 batters and limited the opposition to a .173 team batting average in eight outings. Last season, she posted a 3-1 mark with a 1.78 earned run average (10 earned runs allowed) in 39.1 innings during her 16 appearances.
National Preseason Ranking – The Bulldogs were ranked sixth nationally in the 2009 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. FSU finished the 2008 season ranked tied for fifth place in the NFCA’s final poll with a 164 points total. Ferris State received 311 points in the 2009 preseason poll, which was released Jan. 28.
National Statistical Rankings – The Bulldogs are listed fifth nationally in both earned run average (1.01) and winning percentage (.875) among the NCAA-II national statistical leaders thru games of April 5. FSU is listed 49th in doubles (1.5), 81st in home runs (0.58), 84th in triples (0.21), 88th in scoring (4.88), and 91st in slugging percentage (.421). Senior pitcher-outfielder Shannon Roney (Wheaton, Ill./Glen Ellyn Glenbard South) ranks 23rd in saves (2.0) while senior pitcher-outfielder Holly Bruntjens (Gladstone) is 25th in sacrifice flies (3.0).
2008 Was Great – The Ferris State softball team concluded the 2008 season with a 35-18 overall record, which featured a first-place tying 16-4 GLIAC regular-season mark. The Bulldogs captured the 2008 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tourney title in the program's fifth regional tourney appearance. FSU then went on to place in a tie for fifth at the NCAA-II Softball Championships in its third such appearance on the national stage. Ferris State's 35 victories in the 2008 campaign represented the program's highest single-season wins total since 1999 when the Bulldogs compiled a school-record 46-18 overall record.