Big Rapids, Mich. - The "second" season for the Ferris State University softball team begins this weekend (May 4-6) 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 2018 GLIAC Softball Tournament, which will take place for the first time at Sports Force Parks in Sandusky, Ohio.
Ferris State, which presently has a 17-29 overall record with a eighth-place 11-19 GLIAC mark this season, is the number eight seed and will go up against number one seed Grand Valley State this Friday (May 4) in an opening-round tilt at the double-elimination conference tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. (EDT) with the winner to play the Purdue Northwest-Tiffin winner on Friday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) in the winner's bracket.
FSU, under first-year head coach Kristin Janes, has presently won nine of its last 14 games overall this season and posted a 7-5 mark on its home field this year. The Bulldogs' opponent, Grand Valley State, is currently 35-7 overall and 22-2 in league action heading into its final regular-season games against Davenport on Monday.
Comprising the eight-team tourney field are Grand Valley State, Davenport, Saginaw Valley State, Purdue Northwest, Tiffin, Ashland, Northwood and Ferris State in seeding order. GVSU claimed the top overall seed after winning the GLIAC regular-season crown.
The 2018 GLIAC Softball Tournament Championship game is set for this Sunday (May 6) in Sandusky. A 10 a.m. (EDT) starting time is scheduled for the title contest. The winner of the GLIAC Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament 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 18-17 record (.514) in GLIAC Tournament play since 2005. This year's berth will represent FSU's third consecutive trip to the league tournament after the Bulldogs made their first showing two years ago since 2013.
The 2018 season represents the 14th consecutive year in which only the top eight of the conference's current 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 central website can be found at this link:
GLIAC Tourney Bracket