Big Rapids, Mich. - After an impressive week of action to close out the regular-season, the Ferris State University softball team has climbed into the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Rankings announced late Wednesday afternoon.
The Bulldogs are currently listed seventh overall in the region heading into this weekend's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament following a week in which FSU won eight consecutive games over a four-day span, including four victories over teams listed in last week's rankings.
The NCAA regional rankings help determine the field for the NCAA Tournament, which will be announced on Monday (May 6) via a live selection show online at 10:30 a.m. (ET) at www.ncaa.com.
The top eight teams at the end of the season move on to Midwest regional play with four teams each at two sites for a double-elimination tourney set for May 10-12. The winners of each four-team sub-Midwest Regional will then square off in a best-of-three Super Regional May 17-18 at a campus site with the winner advancing to the NCAA-II Elite Eight/College World Series May 23-27 in Salem, Va.
FSU is one of five GLIAC member schools found in the top 10 of this week's regional rankings along with number two Grand Valley State, Ashland (#6), Findlay (#8), and Northwood (#9). This week's conference tournament results will play an important role in determining the regional field.
Indianapolis, a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC), holds the top spot in the regional poll followed by GVSU, Missouri-St. Louis, Lewis (Ill.) and Southern Indiana in the top five. After Ashland, FSU, Findlay and Northwood, the final spot is held by St. Joseph's (Ind.).
The Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Tournament seven previous times with FSU's last appearance in 2009 representing its fourth trip over a five-year span. Ferris State reached the title game of the sub-Midwest Regional Touranment in '09.
Previously, Ferris State won back-to-back Great Lakes Regional Tourney titles in 1998 and 1999 before winning the regional again in 2008. Overall, the Bulldogs have made previous NCAA appearances in 1982, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Ferris State owns a 28-12 mark to date this campaign under first-year head coach Marie Foster and has claimed 11 of its last 12 contests overall. The Bulldogs closed GLIAC regular-season play with a 20-6 record to receive the number two overall seed for the GLIAC Tournament.
FSU opens conference tournament play on Friday (May 3) versus seventh-seeded Tiffin at Marathaon Diamond Fields in Findlay, Ohio. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (ET) with the winner to face either Ashland or Wayne State in the winner's bracket at 4 p.m. (ET). The league tournament will be a double-elimination format with the championship round set for Sunday (May 5).
The winner of the GLIAC Tournament receives the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Below are the complete Midwest Regional Rankings:
(Rank, Team, Overall Record, In-Region Record)
|2||Grand Valley State||36-4||29-2|
|10||St. Joseph's (Ind.)||23-17||16-17|