Big Rapids, Mich. - Former Ferris State University softball standout pitcher Dana Bowler (Lockport, Ill.), who wrapped up her collegiate career as an all-region honoree after leading the Bulldogs to the NCAA Division II Tournament this past spring, will serve as a celebrity picher for the 26th annual Old Timers/Mecosta County Area Sports Hall of Fame Game that will be played in Big Rapids on Wednesday, July 3.
The contest, which takes place at Hemlock Park in downtown Big Rapids beginning at 6:30 p.m. (ET), pits the local Big Rapids team against a group of Old Timers (over 40 players). To aid in the excitement, the Big Rapids squad slow pitches to the Old Timers while the older group fast pitches to the youngsters. Bowler will join a pair of local standouts as the pitchers for the Old Timers team.
In addition to the game, the contest is also an opportunity to recognize this year's Mecosta County Area Sports Hall of Fame Inductees who are slated to be announced soon. The local hall of fame, which began in 1987, includes a number of former athletes who went on to compete or be involved in intercollegiate athletics at Ferris State such as Jodi (Raab) Scovill, Terry Kirkpatrick, Lloyd Tonkin, Sheri (Maus) Harris, Art Tetzlaff and others.
For additional information on this year's contest and ceremony, please contact Joe Bechaz at (231) 629-7632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bowler, who also took part in the contest a year ago, was recognized for her accomplishments this past season by being named to two different All-Midwest Region teams for the 2013 campaign. The veteran ace on the Bulldog pitching staff was tabbed as a second-team all-region selection by both Daktronics and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) after leading the Bulldogs to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament.
A first-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) selection this season, Bowler was also chosen as the GLIAC's Pitcher of the Year in her final season with the Bulldogs. She finished the year with a 21-10 overall record in the circle to go with a 1.39 earned run average in 211 innings of work.
Bowler wrapped up her Bulldog career as the school's all-time leader in career strikeouts and she finished second overall in pitching wins with 62 total. This season, she shattered the school single-season strikeout mark with 218 K's en route to pitching a total of 29 complete games.
A three-time GLIAC All-Academic Team selection, Bowler's 21 wins this year were the second-most in a single-season in school history while her 13 shutouts marked the highest total ever in Bulldog annals. She pitched a school-record 13 consecutive wins to close the regular-season and tossed six consecutive shutouts along with a school-record 48 consecutive scoreless innings.
This year, Bowler ranked first in the conference during league regular-season action in both wins (20) and strikeouts (193) while posting a 1.08 ERA in regular-season contests. She was also chosen as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Pitcher of the Week in the final week of the regular-season and twice attained GLIAC Pitcher of the Week recognition.
Her efforts helped the Bulldogs compile a 29-16 overall record in 2013 in the initial campaign under head coach Marie Foster. It marked the 10th consecutive year in which the Bulldogs won at least 24 games in a season. FSU also finished as the GLIAC runner-up in regular-season play with a 20-6 league record.
The Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in school history this year and it represented the Bulldogs' fifth trip to the postseason since 2005.