The Ferris State University softball team, which has made two consecutive NCAA Regional appearances to date, continues to receive attention nationwide as the Bulldogs are listed among other teams receiving votes in the 2010 preseason edition of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Poll.
The national poll, which was released this Wednesday (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 compiled eight points in the preseason poll to finish two points in back of Ashland and Augustana (S.D.), which had 10 points apiece. Alabama-Huntsville was chosen as the preseason favorite with 398 points and 14 first-place votes. North Georgia earned second place with 375 points followed by Winona (Minn.) State, which had one first-place vote and 345 points. Dixie State and Indianapolis rounded out the top five in that order with 331 and 316 points, respectively.
Joining the Bulldogs as Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)-member teams in the poll were Ashland, Saginaw Valley State, and Wayne State (Mich.). Saginaw Valley State is ranked 10th while Wayne State claimed the 20th-place position.
FSU, which is coached by 13th-year head coach Keri Becker, posted a 35-10 overall record last season with an 18-4 GLIAC regular-season mark en route to a final 22nd-place national ranking. Ferris' 35 wins matched the program's fourth highest single-season victories output as the Bulldogs totaled at least 30 triumphs in a campaign for the ninth season. FSU also made its seventh NCAA-II Regional Tournament appearance a season ago and the program's fourth in the last five years.
The Bulldogs had been ranked sixth in the nation in the 2009 NFCA Preseason Poll following a fifth-place tying performance at the 2008 NCAA-II Softball Championships.
Ferris State opens its 2010 season on Feb. 19-21 at Alabama-Huntsville's Charger Chillout in Decatur, Ala. The Bulldogs will play six games during the three-day tourney, beginning Feb. 19 against North Alabama at 12 p.m. (CST). FSU's home opener is slated for March 31 versus Saginaw Valley State in a conference doubleheader at Big Rapids, Mich. The opening pitch for the twinbill opener is 3:30 p.m. (EDT).