Leading Off: The Ferris State University softball team starts a lengthy Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) homestand, beginning this weekend (April 15-17) with three straight doubleheaders at the FSU Varsity Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs, who will play their next 12 contests at home within a two-week period, host Findlay this Friday (April 15) before going up against Tiffin Saturday (April 16) and Wayne State on Sunday (April 17). All of this weekend's three twinbills are against GLIAC South Division opponents.
Promotions: Free pop and peanuts will be distributed to the first 25 FSU students who attend each day. A Home Run Derby is slated for this Saturday (April 16) between games of the doubleheader with current Big Rapids (Mich.) High School baseball and softball players participating. On Sunday (April 17), a FSU Student-Athlete Kickball Tournament and a BBQ, sponsored by Snyder's Market, will take place in conjunction with the Bulldog softball twinbill.
2011 Record: Ferris State has compiled a 13-15 overall record, which includes a 10-6 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division this season. The Bulldogs, who have won seven of their last 10 outings to date, are presently 4-0 at home, 6-6 on the road, and 3-9 at neutral sites this season.
Last Week: Ferris posted a 5-3 mark in conference divisional action this past week (April 6-10). The Bulldogs split a doubleheader at Northwood last Wednesday (April 2), dropping game one 7-4 before prevailing 10-3 in the second game. FSU then swept Lake Superior State Friday (April 8), 4-0 and 13-9 in eight innings, in what represented its official 2011 season home opener. Ferris State was victorious at Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (April 9) by notching 1-0 and 9-7 decisions before falling twice (11-8 and 12-5) to the Cardinals in Sunday's (April 10) road twinbill.
Ferris State - Keri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 14th season, 422-268-1 (.611). 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 2011 season, FSU head coach Keri Becker ranked 42nd among the NCAA Division II's active softball head coaches in victories (409) and was 45th in winning percentage (.618). Becker is listed 58th nationally by percentage among the winningest all-time NCAA Division II coaches.
Becker vs. The Opposition: 24-5 vs. Findlay, 5-5 vs. Tiffin, and 25-27 vs. Wayne State.
All-Time Series: Ferris State is 24-5 vs. Findlay, 5-5 vs. Tiffin, and 41-86 vs. Wayne State.
Hitting Streak: Senior shortstop Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints) has put together a current team-high 13-game hitting streak, which began on March 26 in the second game of a GLIAC doubleheader at Ohio Dominican. Weaver, who posted three consecutive two-hit game performances (April 6-8) during the string, is batting for a .364 average (16-44) during that span.
Clearing The Fences: Junior first baseman Chelsea Morris' (Jenison) five home runs this season in 28 contests represents a tie for the 11th most single-season roundtrippers in the program's history. Morris is currently one home run away from moving into an eighth-place tie with Laura Crower (2005), Katie Kraai (2007), and Rhea Flores (2009).
Warm Spell: Sophomore designated player Lindsey Pettit (Portland) has amassed 13 hits in 39 at bats this season, which includes a current seven-game hitting streak (April 2-10). Pettit has chalked up 11 of her season hits total in the last seven encounters while batting a .478 average (11-23) with two home runs and seven RBIs.
Pete's Sake: Junior third baseman Makenzi Peterson (Big Rapids) had her 10-game hitting streak snapped in Sunday's (April 10) doubleheader nightcap at Saginaw Valley State. Peterson, who generated five multiple-hit games during those 10 outings, has notched a .425 average (17-40) at the plate with a .575 slugging percentage in her last 11 contests.
Bulldog Bites: Chelsea Morris is two hits shy of matching her career season-best 30 hits output set in 40 games last season. Morris has generated a squad second-most tying 28 hits in as many outings this spring to date . . . Sophomore second baseman Lainee Clay (Wheelersburg, Ohio) has compiled two hits in a contest in three of her last five appearances and has presently chalked up five multiple-RBI game efforts this campaign. Clay tallied her first career home run with a three-run blast in the Bulldogs' 9-7 game-two decision at Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (April 9) . . . Sophomore pitcher Dana Bowler's (Lockport, Ill.) nine victories (9-6 record) this campaign in 18 appearances is a career season best, surpassing her eight wins (9-10 mark) in 20 outings for the 2010 season. Bowler sports a 4-1 mark in her last six encounters to go with a 3.46 earned run average and 12 strikeouts in 28.1 innings pitched . . . Junior outfielder Stephanie Dusendang (Comstock Park/Rockford) has garnered at least a hit in 13 of her last 15 contests and has compiled six two-hit outings during that span. Dusendang has racked up seven extra-base hits with eight RBIs in the 15-game period, highlighted by her first collegiate home run with a solo shot in a game-two setback at Saginaw Valley State last Sunday (April 10).
All-League Performer: Ferris State returns 2010 All-GLIAC Honorable Mention performer Makenzi Peterson, who batted .357 with a team-high 30 base hits as a starter in all 26 conference outings. Peterson also led the Bulldogs with 18 RBIs and nine doubles while belting two home runs to go with a .560 slugging percentage in conference action. This season, Peterson has amassed a team-leading six multiple-hit game efforts, which includes four two-hit game outings.
39th Season: The 2011 campaign represents the 39th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are currently 781-679-3 overall (.535) since the program's inception in 1973. During that period, FSU has compiled 18 20-plus win seasons, including three consecutive (1997-99) 40 or more victory campaigns.
A Season Ago: The 2010 Bulldogs registered a 26-16 overall record, which included a third-place tying 17-9 GLIAC mark. FSU's 26 victories a season ago tied for the 11th most single-season wins in the program's history.
NCAA Tournament History: 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 Bulldogs continue their homestand with six conference outings next week (April 20 & 22-23) at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids. Ferris State entertains the Northwood Timberwolves Wednesday (April 20) at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. (EDT) in a GLIAC North Division doubleheader. FSU then battles West Michigan rival Grand Valley State on Friday (April 22) and Saturday (April 23) in back-to-back GLIAC North Division twinbills. First pitch for Friday's (April 22) game one is at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) proceeded by the second game at 5:30 p.m. (EDT). Saturday's (April 23) doubleheader gets underway at 1 p.m. (EDT) with the opener while game two commences at 3 p.m. (EDT).
Softball Yearbook: The 2011 FSU Softball Online Yearbook is available for viewing at this link: www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com/sports/sball/2010-11/yearbook/index.
Bulldog Athletics Twitbook: Ferris State Bulldog Softball fans now can have access to additional information on the 2011 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.
2011 GLIAC Standings: Fans can view the complete 2011 GLIAC Standings at this link - GLIAC Standings. Information for the conference overall and individual statistical leaders is available at GLIAC Statistics.
National Statistical Leaders: Both NCAA Division II team and individual national statistical leaders for the 2011 season is available by clicking on this link. Ferris State's rankings, both team and individual, can be accessed via this link.
2011 NCAA Regional Rankings: The latest (April 7) NCAA Division II regional rankings used to assist the selection committee for choosing the field of 64 teams to compete in the 2011 NCAA Tournament are available for viewing at this link.