New recruits, old faces returning create optimism

By Sandy Gholston

Amanda Jager
Ferris State University’s Amanda Jager prepares to put the squeeze on a groundball during the NCAA Division II Women’s Softball National Championships at Memorial Park in Houston on Friday. (Photo/Sandy Gholston)
HOUSTON – A veteran group is expected to return next spring to the softball diamond for Ferris State University.

Ferris’ strong junior class is led by all-region players in first baseman Amanda Jager and pitcher/outfielder Sarah Mueller. In addition to Jager and Mueller, the Bulldogs’ veteran group includes 2008 NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Tournament Most Valuable Player Holly Bruntjens, a pitcher; and catcher Krystle Bailey. That quartet leads an experienced group of players head coach Keri Becker is expected to lean on next spring.

In addition to the veterans, Ferris (which finished its season 35-18) boasts a solid recruiting class for 2009. Big Rapids High School star Makenzi Peterson, a talented and competitive local product who plays shortstop for the Cardinals; Rockford High School’s Stephanie Dusendang, who is a catcher and outfielder and has prepped for former Bulldog softball star Casey Munger-Dunham; Jenison’s Chelsea Morris, a talented first baseman, third baseman and outfielder from Jenison; and Frankfort’s Allison Webber, who plays third and short, comprise the four signees Becker has commitments from.

“I am very encouraged by our recruiting class,” said Becker, whose team had its 2008 spring season end at the hands of top-ranked Lock Haven by a 3-0 score in an elimination game at the 2008 NCAA Division II Softball National Championships at Memorial Park in Houston on Friday afternoon. “We already have four players who are signed and we could be adding maybe another walk-on or two depending on how some things work out. I think we’re going to have a nice mix of experienced players returning with some good new players coming in.

“The loss of (senior third baseman) Katie (Kraai) is going to mean some big shoes for us to fill,” added Becker. “But, I think we have some good players on our team and some quality players coming in who will compete to try and help us fill in those big shoes.”

If you have any questions, ideas or comments feel free to contact Sandy Gholston at sgholston2@netzero.com

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