The bats and gloves for the Ferris State University softball team have been brought out of storage and returned to the field this autumn as the Bulldogs' preparations for the upcoming official 2011 spring season are now underway.
With the 2011 Ferris State softball team's fall practices presently being conducted on the FSU Softball Field, a measuring point of those skill sessions will be evaluated this Sunday (Sept. 26) afternoon as the Bulldogs host NCAA Division I Central Michigan University Chippewas in an exhibition doubleheader at Big Rapids, Mich. The twinbill's first game begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) with the second game to follow about 20 minutes upon the conclusion of the opener. The doubleheader will represent the Bulldogs' only contests for this fall campaign.
"We excited to be playing Central Michigan and want to be at their level of play," said Ferris State head coach Keri Becker, who is beginning her 14th year at FSU with the 2010-11 season. "Playing a quality team like Central (Michigan) will tell us how close we are to them.
"Our goal this Sunday is to get everyone out on the field and play fundamentally at a high level," added Becker.
For Ferris State, the expectations for winning a conference title and making the program's eighth NCAA Division II Regional appearance are high.
"There's always going to be high expectations for this program," stated Becker, who's the program's all-time winningest coach. "We have a young team so there's a learning curve. However, this team possesses a lot of skill and talent which will help us move through the learning curve quickly."
The fall season also gives the players a chance to "get their feet wet" as each player gets an opportunity to showcase their talents, both offensively and defensively. In turn, this provides the Ferris State coaching staff will an invaluable chance to see who fits into different roles and experiment with the lineup.
"The fall allows me to not only get a chance to know the new players but also an opportunity for them to know me and my philosophies," Becker said. "How they're going to fit in on the team and what there role is going to be."
The 2011 campaign will represent the 38th season of intercollegiate competition for the FSU softball program.
To access the Bulldogs' 2011 tentative schedule, please visit this link - 2011 Softball Schedule/Results.
Ferris State returns 12 letterwinners from last season's team, which posted a 26-16 overall record with a 17-9 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).