Big Rapids, Mich. - The "second" season for the Ferris State University softball team begins this weekend (May 3-5) as the Bulldogs seek to claim their third Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament title in the program's history.
The Bulldogs along with seven other teams are scheduled to compete in the 2013 GLIAC Softball Tournament, which will take place at Marathon Diamond Fields in Findlay, Ohio.
Ferris State, which presently has a 28-12 overall record with a second-place 20-6 GLIAC mark this season, is the second seed and will go up against number-seven seed Tiffin this Friday (May 3) in an opening-round tilt at the double-elimination conference tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (EDT) with the winner to play the Ashland-Wayne State winner on Friday at 4 p.m. (EDT) in the winner's bracket.
FSU, under first-year head coach Marie Foster, has presently won its last eight games overall with the impressive streak coming over a four-day span to conclude the regular season this past weekend. FSU has won 11 of its past 12 contests overall. The Bulldogs' opponent, Tiffin, concluded the regular season at 22-24 overall along with a 15-11 conference mark.
Comprising the eight-team tourney field are Grand Valley State, FSU, Ashland, Northwood, Ohio Dominican, Wayne State, Tiffin and Findlay. GVSU claimed the top overall seed after winning the GLIAC regular-season crown by four games over the Bulldogs.
The 2013 GLIAC Softball Tournament Championship game is set for this Sunday (May 5) in Findlay. A 10 a.m. (EDT) starting time is scheduled for the title contest and if necessary per the double-elimination format, a second game will follow at noon (EDT) to determine the conference tournament champion. The winner of the GLIAC Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament (May 10-12) at a campus site to be announced.
Ferris State has won two conference tournaments (2000 and 2005) in the program's history to date. The Bulldogs have registered a 15-12 record (.556) in GLIAC Tournament play since 2005. A year ago, the Bulldogs reached the championship round before falling to Wayne State in the conference tournament.
The 2013 season represents the ninth consecutive year in which only the top eight of the conference's current 14-softball playing institutions qualify for the GLIAC Tournament. The criteria is based upon each team's regular-season conference record. The 1985 campaign marked the league's first-ever postseason tournament in softball.
The complete conference tournament bracket can be found at this link:
GLIAC Tourney Bracket (PDF)