Mueller and Jager Earn First Team; Becker Honored as Coach of the Year

*2008 All-GLIAC Softball Teams Release* PDF

The success of Ferris State University's softball team this season on the field carried over to balloting for the 2008 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) teams as seven Bulldog players were selected to one of the three all-conference teams. The announcement was made Friday (May 2) in conjunction with the 2008 GLIAC Softball Championships in Midland, Mich.

Sarah Mueller
Sarah Mueller
Achieving first-team honors for the Bulldogs were junior utility player Sarah Mueller (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) and junior first baseman Amanda Jager (Kalamazoo/Comstock). Sophomore second baseman Amanda Harrington (St. Joseph/Stevensville-Lakeshore), senior third baseman Katie Kraai (Zeeland) and junior pitcher Holly Bruntjens (Gladstone) all collected second-team accolades. Representing Ferris State on the honorable mention team were junior catcher Krystle Bailey (Wyoming/Rogers) along with freshman outfielder Lynsay Weaver (Bay City/All Saints).

Ferris State head coach Keri Becker was the 2008 recipient of the "Michael J. Corbett" GLIAC Coach of the Year Award. Stacy Kraatz of Saginaw Valley State was tabbed the GLIAC Player of the Year and Molly Yetman of Wayne State earned Pitcher of the Year plaudits. Ashland's Erica Miller attained GLIAC Freshman of the Year kudos. The conference's 11 head coaches voted on the all-conference honors.

Mueller was voted to the All-GLIAC First Team for the second consecutive season as she's presently hitting .339 with 43 base hits in 127 at bats. A starter in 40 games this spring, Mueller has compiled 10 doubles, a team-high five triples, two home runs, 26 RBI, and a squad-best 31 runs scored to go with a .543 slugging percentage and a .414 on-base percentage. In conference action, Mueller hit for a .393 average (24-61) in 20 league outings. The 2007 Daktronics, Inc. All-America Third-Team pick also scored 16 runs and drove in another 13 total. In the pitching circle, Mueller sports a 13-5 record to date with a 1.60 earned run average in 109.2 innings. The FSU hurler has chalked up 13 complete games in 18 appearances this season while fanning 52 batters and limiting the opposition to a .245 batting average.

Jager, a second-team pick a season ago, presently leads Ferris State in hitting with a current career best .389 average on the year as a result of producing a team-leading 44 base hits in 113 plate appearances. A 41-game starter this season, Jager has already established career single-season bests in at bats (113), runs scored (28), hits (44), doubles (13), home runs (six), stolen bases (two), and RBIs (27). She is currently the Bulldogs' leader in both slugging percentage (.664) and on-base percentage (.507).

Amanda Jager
Amanda Jager
Harrington has been one of the Bulldogs' top hitters in conference play with a .379 average (22-58) in 20 league outings. She scored 17 runs while producing nine doubles and RBIs apiece in GLIAC competition. For the season, Harrington is batting a team second-best .361 (43-119) with 12 doubles, two triples, two home runs, and 18 RBI.

Kraai is midst her most productive season at Ferris State as evidenced by batting a career season-high .304 average with 42 hits in 138 at bats for 42 games. The lone senior on this season's team, Kraai is the school's all-time record holder with 46 doubles to date and has totaled a squad-leading 14 second-base hits this campaign. She batted .333 in 20 league matchups with 21 hits in 63 appearances at the plate. Kraai, who was chosen as the GLIAC Player of the Week (April 28), also knocked in 17 runs while tallying eight doubles and scored 18 runs.

A 2007 honorable mention selection, Bruntjens has assembled an 11-7 pitching mark this season with a 2.23 earned run average and a team-leading 60 strikeouts in 106.2 innings. She has tossed 11 complete games in 19 encounters and has held the Bulldogs' opponents to a .244 hitting average. Bruntjens was 6-2 in GLIAC play and had a 1.87 earned run average in 52.1 innings during her nine appearances.

Bailey, who was a 2007 All-GLIAC Second-Teamer, has hit for a current .268 average this season with 33 hits in 123 at bats. She has compiled six doubles, two triples, two home runs, 22 RBI, and scored 25 runs in the 2008 campaign. In 20 league games, Bailey turned in a .316 batting average (18-57) while generating 15 RBI.

Rounding out the list of all-conference performers for Ferris State was Weaver, who's batting .257 with 29 hits in 113 plate appearances. Weaver has also chipped in with five doubles, two homers, 16 RBI, and 19 runs scored. In the conference, she batted .259 (14-54) as a starter in all 20 GLIAC contests.

Becker, the all-time winningest coach in FSU's history, earned the GLIAC Coach of the Year Award for the third time in her 11-year Ferris State coaching career. She also received the league honor in 1997 during her first season as a collegiate head coach and then again in 2003 while missing the entire season due to a military committment in support of Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Becker's selection marks the seventh time in which a Ferris State head coach has been voted as the GLIAC's Coach of the Year.

Ferris State wrapped up conference play this season with a school-record tying 16-4 league mark and shared first-place honors in the final 2008 GLIAC regular-season standings with Wayne State.

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