Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's softball team will have to wait another week to officially open its 2014 spring campaign as the Bulldogs' scheduled trip to the University of Southern Indiana Tourament slated for this weekend has been called off.
FSU was scheduled to begin its first campaign under new head coach Sarah Rotta with four games in Evansville on Saturday and Sunday (March 1-2), but weather conditions have impacted the tournament schedule and cancelled the Bulldogs' trip.
With the cancellation, Ferris State will now open the season on Saturday, March 8, as the Bulldogs open action in the annual Florida Rebel Spring Games, which will be held in Winter Haven, Fla. FSU will face Northern State (S.D.) in its opener at 10 a.m. (ET) and later meet Adelphi (N.Y.) in a 2 p.m. (ET) tilt.
Overall, Ferris State will play a total of 12 games over a seven-day span in the Sunshine State during FSU's annual spring break week. The Bulldogs close the event on Friday, March 14, with a doubleheader before returning home.
After taking part in the Florida Rebel Spring games, the Bulldogs return home and are tentatively slated to officially open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play at home against Ashland on Saturday, March 22.
Rotta, A Michigan native and former collegiate student-athlete at the University of Detroit, takes over for former head coach Marie Foster. A veteran head coach with more than 15 years of experience directing an intercollegiate softball program, Rotta most recently served as a head coach the last seven years at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Previously, she was also the head coach from 1998 to 2006 at Macomb Community College.
Last spring, the Bulldogs posted a 29-16 overall record and reached the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in school history. It represented the 10th consecutive year in which FSU had won at least 24 games in a season. The Bulldogs finished as the GLIAC runner-up in regular-season play with a 20-6 league record in 2013.
This season, Ferris State returns nine team members from a year ago, but must replace seven key seniors who helped FSU reach the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time since 2005. The squad is expected to be led by a pair of seniors in returning all-region honoree Amy Dunleavy along with outfielder Alex Wittman.