Leading Off: The Ferris State University softball team continues its two-week homestand this weekend (April 22-23) as the Bulldogs face Grand Valley State in a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division doubleheaders at the FSU Varsity Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs take on their West Michigan rival this Friday (April 22) in a pair of matchups before squaring off against the Lakers again on Saturday (April 23) in another twinbill.
Rescheduled: The Bulldogs' doubleheader versus Northwood this Wednesday (April 20) has been postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions and is rescheduled for next Tuesday, April 26. Game one will commence at 3 p.m. (EDT) with the second game to follow at 5 p.m. (EDT).
Promotions: Free pop and peanuts will be distributed to the first 25 FSU students who attend each day. In between games this Saturday (April 23), kids will have an opportunity to "run the bases" with Brutus, Ferris State Athletics' mascot. Following that activity, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt around the FSU Varsity Softball Complex. Both events are free of charge and children are encouraged to take advantage of this FREE FUN FAMILY entertainment.
2011 Record: Ferris State is presently 15-17 overall and 12-8 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division this season. The Bulldogs, who have won seven of their last 11 contests to date, are presently 6-2 at home, 6-6 on the road, and 3-9 at neutral sites this season.
Last Week: Ferris went 2-2 this past week (April 15-16) in GLIAC action as the Bulldogs split a pair of conference home doubleheaders in Big Rapids. FSU swept Findlay last Friday (April 15) in a twinbill, winning 17-9 in six innings and 8-2 in the nightcap. The Bulldogs then were swept by Tiffin on Saturday (April 16), falling 4-2 and 3-2 to the Dragons. FSU's twinbill versus Wayne State last Sunday (April 17) was cancelled due to snow and unplayable field conditions. The games against Wayne State have been rescheduled for Sunday, May 1, at noon (EDT) and 2 p.m. (EDT), respectively.
Ferris State - Keri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 14th season, 424-270-1 (.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 coach 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: 18-17 vs. Grand Valley State.
All-Time Series: Ferris State is 38-73 vs. Grand Valley State.
What A Streak: Senior shortstop Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints) had her team-high 16-game hitting streak snapped last Saturday (April 16) versus Tiffin in game two after going hitless in three at bats. Weaver, who batted for a .400 average (22-55) with six extra-base hits and nine RBIs during the 16-game string, began her hitting streak on March 26 at Ohio Dominican in the second game of a GLIAC doubleheader.
Productive Weekend: Sophomore designated player Lindsey Pettit (Portland) turned in a noteworthy effort at the plate this past weekend (April 15-16) in the Bulldogs' four contests. Pettit recorded two doubles and three home runs to go with eight RBIs while hitting for a .455 average (5-11) in those four encounters.
Slugging Shortstop: Lynsay Weaver's 12 career home runs currently ranks tied for fifth place among the Bulldogs' all-time leaders and is two shy of tying Nicki Merchant's (2001-04) 14 career roundtrippers. Weaver has belted four home runs this season in 32 outings which is one away from matching her career season-best five roundtrippers set in 45 contests for the 2009 campaign.
30-Plus Hits Club: Four Ferris State batters have totaled 30 or more hits this season to date. The four - junior third baseman Makenzi Peterson (Big Rapids), junior outfielder Stephanie Dusendang (Comstock Park/Rockford), Lynsay Weaver, and Chelsea Morris, have combined to generate 48.9% (134-274) of the team's hits production to date this campaign. Peterson has totaled a squad-most 38 hits while Dusendang, Weaver, and Morris have all compiled 32 hits apiece.
Bulldog Bites: Lindsey Pettit has a current 11-game hitting streak, which features four multiple-hit game performances. Pettit is batting at a .471 clip (16-34) with eight extra-base hits and 15 RBIs during that span . . . Junior first baseman Chelsea Morris' (Jenison) 32 base hits this season in 32 outings represents a career single-season high, eclipsing her 30 hits in 40 contests last season. Morris has also doubled her RBI production with a team-leading 31 RBIs this spring compared to 15 RBIs a season ago. Her 31 RBIs presently ranks in a five-way tie for 18th place among Ferris State's all-time single-season RBI leaders . . . Sophomore pitcher Dana Bowler's (Lockport, Ill.) eight strikeouts versus Tiffin last Saturday (April 16) represented a season high, surpassing her seven strikeouts on three previous occasions - vs. Slippery Rock (March 6), against Minnesota State (March 11), and vs. Lake Superior State (April 2). Bowler, who has presently fanned 194 batters in 40 career appearances, is six strikeouts shy of notching her 200th career strikeout and would become the ninth FSU hurler to reach the milestone. She presently ranks 10th among the Bulldogs' all-time strikeout leaders and is one shy of tying Sharon Stickney (1979-81; 195 career strikeouts) for ninth place . . . Senior outfielder Colleen Roney's (Wheaton, Ill./Glen Ellyn Glenbard South) 28 hits this season in 32 outings marks a career season high, surpassing her 20-hits output in 34 contests for the 2010 campaign.
Senior Salute: Ferris State will honor its three senior student-athletes - catcher Rachel Mueller (Milford/Santa Clarita, Calif. Valencia), Colleen Roney, and Lynsay Weaver prior to this Saturday's first game against Grand Valley State.
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 783-681-3 overall (.535) 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 will host Northwood next Tuesday, April 26, in a rescheduled conference home doubleheader at the FSU Varsity Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The twinbill games are slated for 3 and 5 p.m. (EDT) start times, respectively. Ferris State then takes to the road next weekend, April 29-30, with a pair of conference road doubleheaders against the Hillsdale Chargers in Hillsdale, Mich. On Friday (April 29), Ferris State takes on Hillsdale at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) and 5:30 p.m. (EDT) while Saturday's (April 30) action gets underway at 1 p.m. (EDT) and 3 p.m. (EDT). The Bulldogs close out the regular season on Sunday, May 1, with a pair of outings against Wayne State in Detroit, Mich. The opener is set for noon (EDT) with the second game to follow at 2 p.m. (EDT).
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.
2011 NCAA Regional Rankings: The latest (April 7) NCAA Division II regional rankings used to assist the selection committee for choosing the field of 64 teams to compete in the 2011 NCAA Tournament are available for viewing at this link.