Leading Off: The 2010 Ferris State University softball team will begin Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action this week (March 31 & April 2-3) with a six-game league homestand at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs open the home portion of their 2010 season this Wednesday (March 31) afternoon versus nationally 13th-ranked Saginaw Valley State before entertaining Lake Superior State this Friday (April 2). FSU concludes the homestand this Saturday (April 3) against Northwood. All three dates are doubleheaders.
The 2010 Record: Ferris State is 9-7-0 overall and 0-0-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) this season to date. The Bulldogs have won nine of their last 12 contests to date, which included a seven-game winning streak (3/6-10) at the Florida Rebel Springs Games Tournament (3/6-17) in Kissimmee, Fla. FSU is 0-0 at home, 0-0 on the road, and 9-7 at neutral sites this season.
FSU Home Game Promotions: Ferris State will be holding a number of in-game promotions for the 2010 regular-season home slate. For a complete list of FSU's game promotions this season, please visit this link: www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com/sports/sball. The first 25 students per each home date this season will receive free peanuts and pop!!
Ferris State - Keri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 13th season, 392-244-1 (.616). 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 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's also listed 52nd nationally by percentage among the winningest all-time coaches in NCAA Division II.
Becker vs. The Opposition: 21-16-0 vs. Saginaw Valley State, 29-1-0 vs. Lake Superior State, 31-19-0 vs. Northwood.
All-Time Series: Ferris State is 24-9-0 vs, Saginaw Valley State, 71-18-0 vs. Lake Superior State, 54-40-1 vs. Northwood.
Home Openers: The Bulldogs have won six of their last 10 home openers since the 2000 season and are 13-6-1 in home-opening doubleheaders since 2000. Ferris State claimed a 3-2 11-inning decision over conference rival Grand Valley State in its 2009 home opener (March 30).
Conference Opener: Ferris State is 4-6 in conference-opening contests since 2000 and have won their last two league openers to date. FSU claimed a 3-2 win in 11 innings against Grand Valley State in last season's (March 30) GLIAC opener for the Bulldogs. Ferris State has recorded an 8-10 mark in league-opening twinbills dating back to 2000 after sweeping a two-game home set versus Grand Valley State last season (March 30) with 3-2 and 6-1 victories over the Lakers.
Season High: Junior catcher Rachel Mueller (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) 12 base hits in 44 at bats this season following the first 15 games surpasses her 11 hits in 39 official plate appearances a season ago. Mueller has knocked in a career season-best tying seven runs this spring which equals her output in 2009.
Effective One-Two Punch: FSU's top two leaders in base hits this season to date - senior outfielder Rachel Wade (Canton) and freshman outfielder Morgan Kramerich (Crest Hill, Ill./Lockport) have combined to generate 32.9% (31-94) of the Bulldogs' current hits production this spring.
Productive Stretch: Ferris State is 6-2 in its last eight encounters and is batting .233 (48-206) while registering a 0.89 team earned run average (seven earned runs). In their first eight outings, the Bulldogs produced a 3-5 mark which included a .227 hitting average (46-203) and a 3.56 earned run average (28 earned runs).
Hot Bat: Rachel Wade is batting for a .385 average (10-26) in her last eight contests compared to a .250 average (6-24) in her initial eight games this spring.
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 pollto 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.
On Deck: Ferris State continues league action next week (April 6 & 10-11) with road doubleheaders at Northwood (April 6), at Findlay (April 10), and at Hillsdale (April 11). Click on this link to access FSU's 2010 schedule/results.
Softball Yearbook: The 2010 FSU Softball Online Yearbook is available for viewing at this link: www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com/sports/sball/2009-10/yearbook/index.
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.