Leading Off: The Ferris State University softball team is among eight teams to qualify for the 2010 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Softball Team, which will be held this weekend (May 7-9) at Currie Stadium and Field Three within the Emerson Softball Complex in Midland, Mich. The Bulldogs, who are the tourney's fourth seed, begin the double-elimination tournament this Friday (May 7) against the fifth-seeded Tiffin Dragons at noon (EDT).
2010 Tourney Field: Along with fourth-seed Ferris State and fifth-seed Tiffin, the remainder of the 2010 GLIAC Tournament field is comprised of top-seed Wayne State, second-seed Ashland, third-seed Northwood, sixth-seed Saginaw Valley State, seventh-seed Grand Valley State, and eighth-seed Hillsdale. Please click on this 2010 GLIAC Softball Tournament link for more information. **2010 GLIAC Softball Tournament Bracket** PDF
Ferris State Record: Ferris State improved to 26-16 overall and finished 17-9 in the GLIAC this season with a conference doubleheader sweep of Grand Valley State (7-0 in game one and 12-2 five innings in game two) last Saturday (May 1) in Allendale, Mich. FSU has won six of its last eight outings to date and is midst a current three-game winning streak. Ferris State is presently 5-7 at home, 12-2 on the road, and 9-7 at neutral site encounters this spring.
2010 GLIAC Standings: Please click on this link for current 2010 GLIAC Standings.
Ferris State - Keri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 13th season, 409-253-1 (.618). Becker, the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State's 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. Becker earned her 400th career coaching win in the Bulldogs' 4-1 home decision over Tiffin (April 17) at Big Rapids, Mich.
Becker Among The Best: Prior to this 2010 season, FSU head coch Keri Becker ranked 45th among the NCAA Division II's active coaches in victories (393) and was 47th in winning percentage (.618). She was also listed 52nd nationally by percentage among the winningest all-time coaches in NCAA Division II entering this campaign.
Becker vs. The Opposition: 5-5-0 vs. Tiffin (1-1 in 2010); 25-27-0 vs. Wayne State (1-1 in 2010); 23-18-0 vs. Saginaw Valley State (2-2 in 2010); 32-22-0 vs. Northwood (1-3 in 2010); 18-17-0 vs. Grand Valley State (3-1 in 2010); 26-15-0 vs. Ashland (1-1 in 2010); and 21-10-0 vs Hillsdale (2-0 in 2010).
All-Time Series: Ferris State is 5-5-0 vs. Tiffin; 41-86-0 vs. Wayne State, 39-50-0 vs. Saginaw Valley State, 55-43-1 vs. Northwood, 50-30-0 vs. Hillsdale, 38-73-0 vs. Grand Valley State, and 26-17-0 vs. Ashland.
Bulldog Bites: The Bulldogs have six players with at least 30 base hits this season, led by senior designated player-pitcher Rhea Flores (Dearborn Heights/Southgate Anderson) and senior outfielder Rachel Wade (Canton) with a team-leading 38 hits apiece. The pair have presently combined to generate 26.4% (76-288) of the team's total hits output this spring . . . Rhea Flores, who has amassed a team-best tying 38 hits in 127 official at bats in 42 games this campaign, is five hits away of matching her career single-season high of 43 hits set a season ago in 42 encounters . . . Senior second baseman Amanda Harrington's (St. Joseph/Stevensville-Lakeshore) 19 RBIs in 42 outings this season equals a career season best, matching her 19 RBIs in 51 contests for the 2008 campaign. Her 71 career RBIs in 183 games to date currently ranks 18th among the program's all-time RBI leaders . . . FSU's 17 conference victories (17-9 GLIAC mark) this season represented the second most league wins in the program's history, second only to th 2009 squad's 18 GLIAC decisions (18-4 league record) . . . Ferris State has outscored its opponent by 18 runs (33-15) in the third inning alone . . . The Bulldogs are 18-0 when leading after five innings and 2-14 when trailing following the first five frames.
Productive Thrower: Freshman pitcher Dana Bowler (Lockport, Ill.) has fanned a team-leading 118 batters this season in 111.0 innings, which represents a tie for the fifth most on FSU's single-season leaders list, and is averaging 5.9 strikeouts per game to date. Bowler is presently tied with Amanda Opbroek, who registered 118 strikeouts in 2003. Bowler is currently nine strikeouts away from tying Nadine Crowl's 137 total in the 2000 season for the second highest total in the program's history.
Undefeated: Senior pitcher Kayle Stevenson (Holland/West Ottawa) has posted an 8-0 mark with a 1.16 earned run average (nine earned runs allowed) in her last nine appearances this spring. Stevenson, a 2009 All-GLIAC Second-Team pick, has held the opposition to a .203 batting average in 54.1 innings of work while racking up 36 strikeouts this campaign.
National Statistics Leaders: Ferris State ranks 37th among this week's NCAA Division II statistical leaders in earned run average (2.02) through games of May 2. The Bulldogs are listed 62nd in fielding percentage (.962), 69th in win-loss percentage (.619), 100th in triples per game (0.17), and 102nd in stolen bases per game (1.02). Individually, Kayle Stevenson ranks 42nd in hits allowed per seven innings (5.19), 47th in shutouts (5.0), and 71st in earned run average (1.98). Rhea Flores and Dana Bowler (Lockport, Ill.) are both tied for 75th place in saves (2.0). Bowler is also 49th in strikeouts per seven innings (7.4), 53rd in hits allowed per seven innings (5.49), 79th in shutouts (4.0) and 114th in strikeouts (118.0). Junior shortstop Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints) is listed 96th in walks (0.5).
Regional Rankings: Ferris State remains 10th place in the fourth installment of the 2010 NCAA Division II Midwest Region Rankings as released Wednesday (May 5) by the NCAA-II Softball Committee. The Bulldogs were also listed 10th in the previous three rankings polls (April 14, 21, and 28). FSU had posted a 24-13 in-region record through games of April 26. The top eight teams in each of the eight NCAA-II regions will qualify for the NCAA Regional Tournament (May 14-16). Selections to the NCAA-II Regional Championships will be announced on Monday, May 10, at 10 a.m. (EDT) via a webcast selection show on NCAA.com.
Past GLIAC Tourney Results: Ferris State has compiled a 9-8 record (.529) since 2005 in GLIAC Tournament contests. FSU posted a 1-2 mark in last season's tourney play (May 1-2), prevailing 6-4 over Northwood (May 1) before suffering a 9-5 loss to Saginaw Valley State (May 1) and then a 4-0 setback to Wayne State (May 2). Ferris State captured its second conference tournament title in 2005 (May 6-7) as the Bulldogs won all four of their tourney contests.
All-League Performers: Ferris State returns three All-GLIAC players from the 2009 season led by second baseman Amanda Harrington (St. Joseph/Stevensville-Lakeshore), who earned first-team recognition. Designated player Rhea Flores and pitcher Kayle Stevenson both attained second-team laurels.
High Expectations: Ferris State is listed among other teams receiving votes in the 2010 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Preseason Poll. The Bulldogs received eight points in the national poll to finish two points behind Ashland and Augustana (S.D.). The national poll, which was released on Jan. 27 by the NFCA, is voted on by 16 NCAA-II head coaches with two representing each of the eight NCAA regions.
Looking Back: The 2009 Bulldogs concluded the season with a 35-10 overall record, which included a second-place tying 18-4 GLIAC mark. Ferris State concluded the campaign ranked 22nd nationally in the NFCA's final Division II Top 25 Poll with 81 points. FSU's 35 victories matched the program's fourth highest single-season wins output. Ferris has won at least 30 contests in a campaign nine times within the school's annals.
Ferris State In The NCAA Tournament: FSU made its seventh NCAA-II Regional Tournament appearance in 2009 and its fourth trip in the last five years. The Bulldogs compiled a 2-2-0 mark in the double-elimination 2009 sub-Midwest Regional Tourney (March 8 & 10) held at University Center, Mich. Ferris State was crowned Great Lakes Regional Tournament champions in 2008 and went on to a fifth-place tying showing at the National Softball Championships in Houston, Texas. The Bulldogs, who are 24-13 all-time in NCAA Tournament competition, have made three national tournament appearances (1998, 1999, and 2008) to date in their program's history. The 1998 team posted a 3-2 tourney mark en route to placing third in Ferris' national tourney debut.
Softball Yearbook: The 2010 FSU Softball Online Yearbook is available for viewing at this link: www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com/sports/sball/2009-10/yearbook/index. Information includes all-time series and coaching records, career batting and pitching leaders, single-season leaders, year-by-year batting and pitching leaders, All-Americans, 2009 GLIAC standings and statistics, etc.
Bulldog Athletics Twitbook: All Ferris State Bulldog Softball fans now can have access to additional information on the 2010 team via Twitter at twitter.com/ferrisathletics.
On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics' official web site can be found at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com. The site features information on all of FSU's varsity athletics programs including rosters, statistics, and more.