Weekly Notes Games 51+: Ferris State at NCAA-II Championship Tournament

May 13, 2008

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    FSU Softball FSU Softball At A Glance: The Ferris State University softball team will be making its third NCAA Division II Softball Championship appearance this week (May 14-17) as the Bulldogs are among eight teams vying for the national title at Memorial Park in Houston, Texas. Ferris State opens tournament competition this Wednesday (May 14) against the Francis Marion (S.C.) University Patriots. Game time is set for 12:30 p.m. (CDT) and is one of four first-round matchups scheduled for Wednesday in the double-elimination tourney.

    2008 NCAA-II National Softball Championship Tournament Field:

    *Ferris State (34-16 overall)
    *Francis Marion (38-14 overall)
    *Barry (44-6 overall)
    *St. Edward's (51-14 overall)
    *Lock Haven (47-6 overall)
    *Humboldt State (53-18 overall)
    *C.W. Post (48-14 overall)
    *Emporia State (44-15 overall)

    2008 NCAA-II National Softball Championship Tournament Bracket:
    2008 NCAA-II Softball Championship Bracket
    NOTE: All starting times are local (Central Daylight).

    The 2008 Season: Ferris State is currently 34-16 overall and were the 2008 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Regular-Season Co-Champions with first-place tying and school record-tying 16-4 conference mark. Ferris State's 34 victories this spring to date represents the program’s most wins in a single season since 1999 when the Bulldogs produced a school-record 46-win total (46-18 overall).

    Last Week: Ferris State claimed the 2008 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament title by besting 2007 national champion Southern Illinois-Edwardville, 1-0, last Sunday (May 11) in the championship game at SIUE’s Cougar Field in Edwardsville, Ill. The Bulldogs registered a 4-0 tournament record and shutout the opposition in all four contests, which included a 1-0 triumph over Saginaw Valley State last Wednesday (May 7) followed by a 1-0 decision in 15 innings versus Lewis last Friday (May 9). FSU advanced to the championship bracket with a 4-0 victory against Wayne State last Saturday (May 10).

    The Coach: Ferris StateKeri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 11th season, 347-225-1 (.606) – (0-0 vs. Francis Marion, 0-0 vs. Emporia State, 0-2 vs. Barry, 1-0 vs. C.W. Post, 0-1 vs. Humboldt State, 0-0 vs. St. Edward's, 3-1 vs. Lock Haven). Becker, the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State Softball history, has guided the Bulldogs to consecutive (1998-99) NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament appearances. The 1998 squad placed third nationally while the 1999 team set a school record for single-season victories (46 total). Becker has been recognized three times as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) Coach of the Year (1997, 2003, and 2008).

    Against National Tourney Opponents: The Bulldogs have compiled the following all-time records versus the 2008 NCAA-II Softball Championship field. Francis Marion – 0-0; Emporia State – 0-0; St. Edward's – 0-0; C.W. Post – 3-0; Lock Haven – 3-2; Barry – 0-3; Humboldt State – 0-1.

    36th Season – The 2008 campaign represents the 36th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are 704-632-3 overall (.527) since the program’s inception in 1973. During that period, FSU has compiled 16 20-plus win seasons, including three consecutive (1997-99) 40 or more victory campaigns.

    Bruntjens Garners Regional Tourney Top Individual Honor - Junior pitcher Holly Bruntjens was chosen as the Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament last week (May 7-11). Bruntjens posted a 3-0 pitching mark with a 0.00 earned run average in 21.0 innings to go with 12 strikeouts and three walks. She held the opposition to a .151 batting average and gave up only 11 base hits while notching shutouts versus Saginaw Valley State (1-0), vs. Wayne State (4-0), and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (1-0) in the regional championship game. Bruntjens was joined on the 13-member all-tourney team by junior outfielder-pitcher Sarah Mueller (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia).

    Defensive Stoppers – Ferris State didn’t allow a single run in 36 innings over its four contests at the 2008 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament and as the Bulldogs outscored their opponent by a combined 7-0 margin.

    Doubling Their Pleasure – Ferris State’s 89 doubles this season in 50 games presently represents the second-highest single-season total in the program’s history. The 2008 squad is three second-base hits shy of matching the school-record 92 doubles total set by the 1998 Bulldogs. The 2008 squad currently has four individuals with double-digit totals in doubles this campaign.

    Post-Season ProducerKatie Kraai, a two-time (2005 & 2007) NCAA-II Great Lakes Region All-Tournament Team selection, is currently hitting for a .424 average (14-33) in 11 career NCAA Tourney appearances. She also has compiled four doubles, three home runs, 12 RBI, and an .818 slugging percentage to date.

    On The National Scene – The Bulldogs rank seventh nationally in doubles per game (1.85 avg.) thru games of May 4 and are listed 39th in earned run average (2.05). FSU is 46th in triples (0.26) and 54th in win-loss percentage (..652). Individually, Sarah Mueller is 18th in triples (0.14) and 99th in ERA (2.06). Katie Kraai ranks 63rd in doubles (0.33) while Amanda Jager is 45th in on-base pct. (.503) and 91st in doubles per game (0.659).

    Seven Bulldogs Named All-GLIAC – Ferris State placed seven players on the 2008 All-GLIAC teams, which were announced May 4 at the GLIAC Tournament in Midland, Mich. Utility player Sarah Mueller was a repeat first-team selection while junior first baseman Amanda Jager also received first-team kudos after garnering second-team honors a season ago. Third baseman Katie Kraai along with sophomore second baseman Amanda Harrington and pitcher Holly Bruntjens all collected second-team accolades. Attaining honorable mention laurels were junior catcher Krystle Bailey and freshman outfielder Lynsay Weaver. Bruntjens earned honorable mention plaudits last season while Bailey was a second-team pick.

    Record HolderKatie Kraai, the lone senior on this season’s team, became Ferris State’s record holder in doubles this spring and presently has amassed 49 total in 199 career contests. The 2008 All-GLIAC Second-Team pick established the new standard with a two-base hit versus Wayne State (4/25) and was honored as the GLIAC’s Player of the Week (4/28). Her 17 doubles in 50 outings this spring marks a personal career season best and is the second highest total on FSU’s all-time single-season leaders list. Kraai is two doubles away from matching Emily McLean’s school-record 19 doubles set in 2006.

    All-Region HonoreesSarah Mueller received Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Great Lakes Region Second-Team honors this season for the second straight year. A season ago, she also achieved Daktronics All-America Third-Team recognition. Her teammate, Amanda Jager, landed a spot on the 2008 Daktronics All-Great Lakes Region squad as she was a second-team selection.

    Fast Starters – Ferris State has generated 55.4% (143-258) of its scoring this season in the first three innings and has outscored its opponent by 82 runs (143-to-61) in the opening three frames. The Bulldogs’ 58-run total in the first inning represents a current team high.

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