Leading Off: The Ferris State University softball team will have a busy week of action on the diamond as the Bulldogs will play a scheduled eight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division games, starting this Wednesday (April 6) on the road against the Northwood Timberwolves in Midland, Mich. FSU will then entertain the Lake Superior State Lakers this Friday (April 8) in a rescheduled doubleheader at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs then are back on the road this weekend (April 9-10) for a pair of twinbills versus the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals in University Center, Mich.
2011 Record: Ferris State improved to 8-12-0 overall and 5-3-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division this season with a pair of victories over Lake Superior State this past Saturday (April 2) at Rockford (Mich.) High School's Varsity Field. The Bulldogs recorded a 5-2 game-one triumph over the Lakers before notching a 4-3 decision in the second game. Ferris State's scheduled home outings against Davenport (March 29) and Aquinas (March 31) were cancelled due to unplayable field conditions. FSU is currently 2-0 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, 417-265-1 (.611). 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: 32-22 vs. Northwood, 35-1-0 vs. Lake Superior State, and 23-18 vs. Saginaw Valley State.
All-Time Series: Ferris State is 55-43-1 vs. Northwood, 77-18 vs. Lake Superior State, and 39-50 vs. Saginaw Valley State.
More Morris: Junior first baseman Chelsea Morris (Jenison) is batting a .382 average (13-34) in her last 10 contests with four home runs and 10 RBIs while posting an .853 slugging percentage and a .432 on-base percentage. In her initial 10 outings this spring, Morris hit .258 (8-31) and had seven RBIs to go with a .452 slugging percentage and a .265 on-base percentage.
Offensive Improvement: Sophomore second baseman Lainee Clay (Wheelersburg, Ohio) has recorded at least a base hit in five of her last six games, which includes a pair of two-hit game performances - at Ashland (March 27) and versus Lake Superior State (April 2). Clay has posted a .467 batting average (7-15) in her last six encounters after hitting at a .114 clip (4-35) in her first 12 contests for the 2009 campaign.
The Streak Is On: Junior outfielder Stephanie Dusendang (Comstock Park/Rockford) is midst a squad second-best seven-game hitting streak (March 25-April 2) and has produced a .400 hitting average (10-25) during that span. Dusendang's 19 hits (19-61) in 20 outings this season to date represents a career season high, eclipsing her seven hits (7-23) in 19 contests for the 2009 campaign.
Bulldog Bites: Senior outfielder Colleen Roney (Wheaton, Ill./Glen Ellyn Glenbard South) is three more base hits away from equalling her career single-season high 20 hits (20-86) established a season ago in 34 games. Roney has presently posted 17 hits (17-62) in 20 contests this 2011 campaign . . . Sophomore pitcher Dana Bowler's (Lockport, Ill.) 169 career strikeouts represents a tie for the 12th most in the program's history and matches Teresa Sutermeister's (1998-01) career strikeouts total. Bowler, who has fanned 51 batters in 11 appearances this season, is currently four shy of moving into an 11th-place tie with Jennifer Colvin (1999-02; 173 career strikeouts) . . . Chelsea Morris has totaled a team second-most 21 base hits this season to date which is nine less than her career season-high 30 hits in 40 contests a season ago . . . Dana Bowler has a present 3-1 record with a 1.99 earned run average and 18 strikeouts in 24.2 innings for her four GLIAC appearances . . . Senior shortstop Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints) has a current team-high 10-game streak in which she has reached base, highlighted by a present five-game hitting string (March 26-April 2).
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. This season, Peterson has amassed a team-leading six multiple-hit game efforts, which includes four two-hit game outings.
39th Season: The 2011 campaign represents the 39th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are currently 776-676-3 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: The Bulldogs return home to the FSU Varsity Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich., for their next 12 GLIAC games, beginning Friday (April 15) versus the Findlay Oilers. Ferris State then squares off against Tiffin on Saturday (April 16) before closing out the weekend Sunday (April 17) versus Wayne State. All three dates (April 15-17) are doubleheaders against GLIAC South Division opponents.
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. Ferris State's rankings, both team and individual, can be accessed via this link.