Bulldogs Seeded Sixth In Great Lakes Regional For Second Straight Year; Tourney Play Starts Wednesday

*2008 NCAA Division II Softball Great Lakes Regional Tournament Bracket* PDF

Katie Kraai
Senior third baseman Katie Kraai and the Ferris State Bulldogs, the 2008 GLIAC Regular-Season Co-Champions, are NCAA Great Lakes Regional Tournament bound for the second consecutive season.
The Ferris State University softball team has earned a berth in the 2008 NCAA Division II Softball Great Lakes Regional Tournament, which will be held May 7-11 on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus in Edwardsville, Ill. The announcement was made this Sunday (May 7) afternoon by the NCAA-II softball selection committee.

The Bulldogs, who are currently 30-16 overall this season and winners in 13 of their last 18 outings to date, will be making their sixth NCAA-II Regional Tournament appearance in the program's history and their third NCAA-II Tourney trip in the last four years. Ferris State competed in the 2007 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional (May 10-13) at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., and in the 2005 NCAA-II Great Lakes Region Tournament (May 12-15) at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Ky.

Ferris State, under 11th-year head coach and 2008 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Coach of the Year Keri Becker, is seeded sixth in the regional tournament for the second consecutive year. The Bulldogs claimed a share of the 2008 GLIAC Regular-Season Championship title with Wayne State by posting a school-record single-season tying 16-4 conference mark and then turned in a third-place showing at the 2008 GLIAC Softball Championship Tournament this past weekend (May 2-4) in Midland, Mich.

Host Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (45-9 overall) earned the number one seed as the 2007 NCAA-II National Championships won the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Tournament for the third straight time. The two seed is Lewis (37-16 overall), which captured the GLVC Regular-Season title.

Saginaw Valley State (34-15 overall), the 2008 GLIAC Tournament Champions, is the three seed after earning the GLIAC's automatic bid while fellow league member Wayne State (33-16 overall) is seeded fourth. WSU shared the 2008 conference regular-season title with Ferris State. Indianapolis (37-26 overall) received the fifth seed and took third-place honors in the GLVC Tournament.

Comprising the remainder of the eight-team regional tourney field is seventh-seed West Virginia Wesleyan (50-18 overall) and West Virginia State (41-14 overall), the eighth seed. West Virginia Wesleyan was the regular-season champions of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAA) and West Virginia State received the WVIAA's autmotic bid by besting WVWC in their conference tournament championship contest.

The teams will practice this Tuesday (May 6) with games getting underway Wednesday (May 7) at SIUE's Cougar Field. Game times are 9:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. (Central Time) on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Game times for Saturday (May 10) are slated for 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (CDT). The championship contest will be held Saturday (May 10) in the double-elimination tourney and if necessary, a second game will take place Sunday (May 11) at 12 p.m.

For more information and/or tickets, please call the SIUE Athletics Department at (618) 650-2871.

The champion of the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional will advance to the 27th annual NCAA-II Softball Championship Tournament (May 14-17) in Houston, Texas, as part of the Division II Spring Championships Festival.

Ferris State presently sports a 11-7 all-time record in regional play, which includes a 6-5 mark in its last 11 post-season tournament outings. The Bulldogs won back-to-back NCAA-II Great Lakes Region titles in 1998 and 1999 both under current head coach Keri Becker.

FSU State made its regional debut in 1982 at the NCAA-II East Regional (May 14-15) in Stratford, Conn., and compiled a 2-2 mark. The Bulldogs then claimed their first NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional title in 1998 (May 8-9) at Ashland, Ohio, winning all three of its contests and eventually finishing third place at the NCAA-II National Championship Tournament (May 14-18) in Pensacola, Fla. Ferris defended its Great Lakes Region crown in 1999 (May 14-15) at Allendale, Mich., by registering a 3-1 tourney mark and advanced for the second straight season to the NCAA-II National Championship Tournament (May 20-21) in Salem, Va., where the Bulldogs captured sixth-place honors.

In the 2005 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional (May 12-13), Ferris State posted a 1-2 mark as the Bulldogs won 2-0 over Northwood (May 12) in their tourney opener before suffering a 9-1 loss to host Northern Kentucky (May 12). FSU was eliminated from the tournament after dropping an 8-5 decision to West Virginia Wesleyan (May 13). A season ago (May 10-13) in Romeoville, Ill., Ferris State was victorious in its opening two contests as the Bulldogs claimed a 6-1 win over Gannon (May 10) and a 12-4 six-inning triumph versus Missouri-Rolla (May 11). FSU then suffered a pair of 6-4 losses to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (May 12) and Grand Valley State (May 13).

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