Leading Off: Following its first 18 games on the road, the Ferris State University softball team will step onto its home field for the first time this 2011 season on Thursday (March 31) when the Bulldogs host the Aquinas in a non-conference doubleheader at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris State then will square off against Lake Superior State this Saturday-Sunday (April 2-3) in a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division doubleheaders.
2011 Record: Ferris State is presently 6-12-0 overall and 3-3-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division this season. The Bulldogs began GLIAC action last weekend (March 25-27) with six contests in Ohio. Conference play started last Friday (March 25) with a doubleheader sweep (7-2 and 7-1) against Lake Erie in Painesville, Ohio. Ferris then split a conference twinbill versus Ohio Dominican last Saturday (March 26) in Columbus, Ohio, winning 4-3 in the opener before suffering a 12-5 loss in the nightcap. The Bulldogs wrapped up the weekend's action last Sunday (March 27) at Ashland (Ohio) by being dealt a 10-0 loss in five innings and then suffering a 7-1 setback in the second game. FSU is currently 0-0 at home, 3-3 on the road, and 3-9 at neutral sites this season.
Ferris State - Keri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 14th season, 415-265-1 (.610). 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 2011 season, FSU head coch Keri Becker ranked 42nd among the NCAA Division II's active softball head coaches in victories (409) and was 45th in winning percentage (.618). Becker is listed 58th nationally by percentage among the winningest all-time NCAA Division II coaches.
Becker vs. The Opposition: 17-3-0 vs. Aquinas and 33-1-0 vs. Lake Superior State.
All-Time Series: Ferris State is 50-22-0 vs. Aquinas and 75-18-0 vs. Lake Superior State.
Cancelled: The Bulldogs' scheduled 2011 home opener this Tuesday (March 29) afternoon against Davenport has been cancelled due to cold weather and unplayable field conditions (snow) at the FSU Softball Field. The non-conference doubleheader will likely not be rescheduled at this point.
Home Openers: Ferris State has registered a 7-4-0 (.636) record in home openers dating back to the 2000 season, which includes winning three of its last four to date. A season ago (March 31), the Bulldogs dropped a 2-0 decision to nationally-ranked Saginaw Valley State. FSU recorded a 4-1 triumph over Aquinas in its 2004 season home opener (March 31).
GLIAC Openers: The Bulldogs have compiled a 5-6-0 (.455) mark in conference home-opening contests since the 2000 season and have prevailed in three of their last four such outings. Ferris State is 2-0 versus Lake Superior State during that span following a 3-2 win in 2000 (April 2) and a 5-0 victory in the 2007 campaign (April 1).
Hitting Machine: Junior third baseman Makenzi Peterson (Big Rapids) has hit safely in nine of her last 10 outings to date, which included a squad-leading eight-game hitting streak (March 11-26). Peterson, who has recorded a base hit in 13 of 18 contests this season, is batting a .400 average (14-35) with four extra-base hits in her last 10 outings.
Long Ball Slugger: Junior first baseman Chelsea Morris (Jenison) has posted a team-high and career single-season best three home runs this season in 18 games with all of her roundtrippers coming this past weekend (March 25-26) in GLIAC road play. Morris smacked two home runs in last Friday's (March 25) twinbill at Lake Erie with a solo and two-run blast. She then clubbed a solo roundtripper in the second game of a twinbill at Ohio Dominican (March 26). Morris' three home runs this spring represent the first in her collegiate career. Morris' 13 RBIs this season to date is two shy of matching her 15 RBIs output in 40 outings for the 2010 campaign.
Bulldog Bites: Junior second-third baseman Allison Webber's (Frankfort) eight base hits in 11 contests this spring marks a career season-best, surpassing her seven hits in 17 games a season ago . . . Senior outfielder Colleen Roney (Wheaton, Ill./Glen Ellyn Glenbard South) has generated at least a base hit in 13 of her 18 contests this season, which included a five-game hitting string (March 25-27) to go with a .438 batting average (7-16) during that period . . . The Bulldogs are 6-2 in games when leading after five innings and are 0-9 when trailing through the first five frames . . . Senior shortstop Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints) moved into a ninth place among Ferris State's all-time home runs leaders after racking up her 10th career roundtripper in last Friday's (March 26) doubleheader opener at Lake Erie with a three-run shot. Weaver, who has accumulated two home runs in 18 encounters this season, is currently one shy of tying Anne Bentley's (1997-00) and McKenzie West's (2006-08) 11 career roundtrippers apiece for seventh-place honors on the career leaders list.
All-League Performer: Ferris State returns 2010 All-GLIAC Honorable Mention performer Makenzi Peterson, who batted .357 with a team-high 30 base hits as a starter in all 26 conference outings. Peterson also led the Bulldogs with 18 RBIs and nine doubles while belting two home runs to go with a .560 slugging percentage in conference action.
39th Season: The 2011 campaign represents the 39th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are currently 774-676-3 overall (.534) since the program's inception in 1973. During that period, FSU has compiled 18 20-plus win seasons, including three consecutive (1997-99) 40 or more victory campaigns.
A Season Ago: The 2010 Bulldogs registered a 26-16 overall record, which included a third-place tying 17-9 GLIAC mark. FSU's 26 victories a season ago tied for the 11th most single-season wins in the program's history.
NCAA Tournament History: 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 GLIAC North Division play next week (April 6 and 9 & 10) with three doubleheaders. The Bulldogs take on the Northwood Timberwolves next Wednesday, April 6, at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) and 5:30 p.m. (EDT), respectively in Midland, Mich. FSU then squares off against Saginaw Valley State next Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10, at University Center, Mich. Game times are 1 p.m. (EDT) and 3 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday (April 9) and 12 p.m. (EDT) and 2 p.m. (EDT) in Sunday's (April 10) twinbill.
Softball Yearbook: The 2011 FSU Softball Online Yearbook is available for viewing at this link: www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com/sports/sball/2010-11/yearbook/index.
Bulldog Athletics Twitbook: Ferris State Bulldog Softball fans now can have access to additional information on the 2011 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.
2011 GLIAC Standings: Fans can view the complete 2011 GLIAC Standings at this link - GLIAC Standings. Information for the conference overall and individual statistical leaders is available at GLIAC Statistics.
National Statistical Leaders: Both NCAA Division II team and individual national statistical leaders for the 2011 season is available by clicking on this link.