February 18, 2010

Softball Opens 2010 Season This Weekend In Alabama

THIS WEEK:
at Alabama-Huntsville Charger Chillout

Friday thru Sunday (Feb. 19-21) - Decatur, Alabama

* Friday (Feb. 19) - vs. North Alabama @ 12 p.m. (CST) - Field 5; vs. Augusta State (Ga.) @ 2 p.m. (CST) - Field 1
* Saturday (Feb. 20) - vs. #5 Indianapolis @ 10 a.m. (CST) - Field 4; vs. #1 Alabama-Huntsville @ 12 p.m. (CST) - Field 4
* Sunday (Feb. 21) - vs. West Georgia @ 9 a.m. (CST) - Field 2; vs. Southern Indiana @ 11 a.m. (CST) - Field 2 

Leading Off: The 2010 Ferris State University softball team will open its 38th season of intercollegiate competition this weekend (Feb. 19-21) at the Alabama-Huntsville Charger Chillout in Decatur, Ala.  The Bulldogs are scheduled to play a total of six games during the three-day tournament, which is being held at Wilson-Morgan Park.

Charger Chillout Schedule: The complete schedule for the 2010 Charger Chillout can be found at this link: http://www.uahchargers.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=402&Itemid=201.  Two of Ferris State's tourney opponents are national preseason favorite Alabama-Huntsville and fifth-ranked Indianapolis.

High Expectations: Ferris State is listed among other teams receiving votes in the 2010 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Preseason Poll.  The Bulldogs received eight points in the national pollto finish two points behind Ashland and Augustana (S.D.).  The national poll, which was released on Jan. 27 by the NFCA, is voted on by 16 NCAA-II head coaches with two representing each of the eight NCAA regions.

Ferris State - Keri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 13th season, 383-237-1 (.618). Becker, the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State's Softball history, has guided the Bulldogs to three (1998, 1999, and 2008) NCAA Division II National Softball Championship Tournament appearances. The 1998 squad placed third nationally while the 1999 team set a school record for single-season victories (46 total). The 2008 squad tied for fifth-place honors after capturing the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional title. Becker, who has been recognized as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) Coach of the Year three times (1997, 2003, and 2008) was a member of the 2008 National Fastpitch Coaches Association's (NFCA)/NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year.

Becker Among The Best: Prior to this season, FSU head coch Keri Becker ranked 45th among the NCAA Division II's active coaches in victories (393) and was 47th in winning percentage (.618).  She's also listed 52nd nationally by percentage among the winningest all-time coaches in NCAA Division II.

Becker vs. The Opposition: 1-0-0 vs. North Alabama, 0-0-0 vs. Augusta State, 6-1-0 vs. Indianapolis, 0-0-0 vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 0-0-0 vs. West Georgia, 4-4-0 vs. Southern Indiana. 

All-Time Series: Ferris State is 1-0-0 versus North Alabama, 0-0-0 vs. Augusta State, 6-1-0 vs. Indianapolis, 0-0-0 vs. Alabama-Huntsville, 0-0-0 vs. West Georgia, 6-5-0 vs. Southern Indiana.

Season Openers: The Bulldogs are 8-5-0 in season-opening contests under head coach Keri Becker dating back to the 1997 campaign.  FSU won six of its first seven openers with Becker at the helm before producing a 2-4-0 record in its last six such appearances to date.  Ferris State registered a 5-2 victory against Northern Kentucky in its 2009 season-opening tilt (March 7) at the Florida Rebel Spring Games Tournament in Kissimmee, Fla. 

Rising Star: Senior second baseman Amanda Harrington (St. Joseph/Stevensville-Lakeshore) turned in a highly-productive 2009 campaign and was honored as a result.  The Bulldog infielder was named to both the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Midwest Region First Team and the Daktronics, Inc. All-Midwest Region First Team.  She batted for a .290 average with 36 base hits in 124 at bats while also registering eight doubles, two home runs, 15 RBIs, a .403 slugging percentage, and a .964 fielding percentage.  The 45-game starter produced a squad and career single-season best 13 multiple-hit game performances.      

Returning All-League Performers: Ferris State welcomes back three players from the 2009 squad which received All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) recognition.  Amanda Harrington attained first-team honors last season while designated player Rhea Flores (Dearborn Heights/Southgate Anderson) and pitcher Kayle Stevenson (Holland/West Ottawa) were second-team selections.    

38th Season: The 2010 campaign represents the 38th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are currently 740-644-3 overall (.535) since the program's inception in 1973. During that period, FSU has compiled 17 20-plus win seasons, including three consecutive (1997-99) 40 or more victory campaigns.

Hats Off To Infielder: Amanda Harrington enters her 2010 senior season currently ranking in an 11th-place tie among the Bulldogs' all-time leaders in home runs (eight), 16th in batting average (.298), 19th in doubles (25), tied for 21st in stolen bases (17), tied for 24th in base hits (125), tied for 25th in RBIs (52), 28th in at bats (420), and 29th in games played (141).  Harrington is a three-year (2007-09) letterwinner and starter.  

Looking Back: The 2009 Bulldogs concluded the season with a 35-10 overall record, which included a second-place tying 18-4 GLIAC mark.  Ferris State concluded the campaign ranked 22nd nationally in the NFCA's final Division II Top 25 Poll with 81 points.  FSU's 35 victories matched the program's fourth highest single-season wins output. Ferris has won at least 30 contests in a campaign nine times within the school's annals.

Impressive Start: Ferris State started its 2009 season winning its first nine contests before suffering a 5-0 loss to Northern Kentucky (3/12).  The Bulldogs claimed victory in 17 of their initial 19 contests to begin the 2009 campaign.

Ferris State In The NCAA Tournament: FSU made its seventh NCAA-II Regional Tournament appearance in 2009 and its fourth trip in the last five years.  The Bulldogs compiled a 2-2-0 mark in the double-elimination 2009 sub-Midwest Regional Tourney (March 8 & 10) held at University Center, Mich.  Ferris State was crowned Great Lakes Regional Tournament champions in 2008 and went on to a fifth-place tying showing at the National Softball Championships in Houston, Texas.  The Bulldogs, who are 24-13 all-time in NCAA Tournament competition, have made three national tournament appearances (1998, 1999, and 2008) to date in their program's history.  The 1998 team posted a 3-2 tourney mark en route to placing third in Ferris' national tourney debut.

On Deck: The Ferris State softball team will take a week off before making its annual trip to the Sunshine State for the Florida Rebel Spring Games Tournament (March 6-13) in Kissimmee, Fla.  The Bulldogs are scheduled to play 14 non-conference contests during their one week stay.

Bulldog Athletics Twitbook: All Ferris State Bulldog Softball fans now can have access to additional information on the 2010 team via Twitter at twitter.com/ferrisathletics

On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics' official web site can be found at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com. The site features information on all of FSU's varsity athletics programs including rosters, statistics, and more.

 

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