Weekly Notes Games 19-24: Ferris State at Saginaw Valley State; vs. Lake Superior State; at Northwood

April 1, 2009

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    Dates/Start Times:Wednesday (April 1) at University Centner, Mich. - 3:30 p.m. (EDT) & 5:30 p.m. (EDT); Saturday (April 4) at Big Rapids, Mich. - 1 p.m. (EDT) & 3 p.m. (EDT); Sunday (April 5) at Midland, Mich. - 12 p.m. (EDT) & 2 p.m. (EDT)
    Gametracker LogoGametracker Links: at Saginaw Valley State-Game 1; at Saginaw Valley State-Game 2
    vs. Lake Superior State-Game 1; vs. Lake Superior State-Game 2
    at Northwood-Game 1; at Northwood-Game 2
    Radio Broadcast: None.
    April 4 Game Promotion: Girl Scout Day.

    FSU Softball FSU Softball At A Glance: The nationally-ranked Ferris State University softball team continues Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action this week with six conference contests. The Bulldogs visit the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals this Wednesday (April 1) at University Center, Mich. Game times are set for 3:30 p.m. (EDT) and 5:30 p.m. (EDT). Ferris State then hosts the Lake Superior State Lakers this Saturday (April 4) at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids, Mich. The first game is slated to commence at 1 p.m. (EDT) with the second game to follow around 3 p.m. (EDT). The Bulldogs wrap up this week’s action on Sunday (April 5) versus the Northwood Timberwolves in Midland, Mich. First pitch for the opener is 12 p.m. (EDT) with the nightcap to follow at 2 p.m. (EDT).

    The 2009 Season: Ferris State is currently 12-2-0 overall with all of its action taking place at the Florida Rebel Spring Tournament (March 7-14) in Kissimmee, Fla. The Bulldogs are 12-2 at neutral sites, 0-0 at home, and 0-0 on the road this season to date.

    Saginaw Valley State improved its record to 19-5 overall and 6-0 in the GLIAC with a pair of league road victories over Northwood Monday (March 30) at Midland, Mich. The Cardinals, who have won 14 straight games to date, registered a 1-0 and an 8-0 five-inning decisions versus the Timberwolves.

    Lake Superior State is 6-21 overall with a 0-4 conference record to date after the Lakers suffered a pair of league losses to Saginaw Valley State last Saturday (March 28) at University Center, Mich. The Lakers lost an 8-2 outing to the Cardinals and then suffered a 16-3 setback in the doubleheader's second game. LSSU visits Northwood this Wednesday (April 1) before facing the Bulldogs this Saturday (April 4) in Big Rapids, Mich.

    Northwood is currently 6-14 overall and 0-6 in the GLIAC as a result of suffering a pair of league home losses to Saginaw Valley State Monday (March 30) at Midland, Mich. The Timberwolves lost a 1-0 decision to the Cardinals in game one and then were shutout by an 8-0 score in the second game of the twinbill. Northwood hosts Lake Superior State this Wednesday (April 1) at NU's Fisher Stadium before entertaining Grand Valley State this Saturday (April 4) and Ferris State on Sunday (April 5).

    The Coach: Ferris StateKeri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 12th season, 364-229-1 (.614) – (20-13-0 vs. Saginaw Valley State, 25-1-0 vs. Lake Superior State, 27-18-0 vs. Northwood). Becker, the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State Softball history, has guided the Bulldogs to three (1998, 1999, and 2008) NCAA Division II National Softball Championship Tournament appearances. The 1998 squad placed third nationally while the 1999 team set a school record for single-season victories (46 total). The 2008 squad tied for fifth-place honors after capturing the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional title. Becker, who has been recognized as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) Coach of the Year three times (1997, 2003, and 2008) was a member of the 2008 National Fastpitch Coaches Association's (NFCA)/NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year.

    2009 GLIAC Coaches Preseason Poll: Ferris State has been picked as the favorite to win the 2009 GLIAC Regular-Season Championship as the Bulldogs took six of the 10 first-place votes and finished with 78 total points in the 2009 conference preseason poll. The top billing in the preseason coaches poll is a first for Ferris State since the poll debuted in the 2002 campaign. Prior to this season, FSU's highest placing in the poll was in 2006 when the Bulldogs received a second-place 88 total points and three first-place votes. Each of the GLIAC's 10 head softball coaches ranked each of the conference teams, but weren't allowed to vote for their own squad. The first-place team on each ballot received nine points while the second-place team earned eight points, etc.

    The All-Time Series: Ferris State is 36-45-0 versus Saginaw Valley State, 67-18-0 against Lake Superior State and 50-39-1 versus Northwood.

    37th Season – The 2009 campaign represents the 37th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are currently 721-636-3 overall (.531) 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.

    A Season Ago vs. Saginaw Valley State/Lake Superior State/Northwood – Ferris State went 2-2 against Saginaw Valley State. The Bulldogs split a regular-season doubleheader at SVSU (April 6), losing 3-2 in game one before registering a 4-3 triumph in the eight-inning second game. The Cardinals then bested the Bulldogs at the 2008 GLIAC Tournament (May 7) in Midland, Mich., with a 10-4 win. However, Ferris avenged the loss at the 2008 NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional (May 7) in Edwardsville, Ill., by notching a 1-0 victory. FSU compiled a 2-0 record versus Lake Superior State as the Bulldogs swept the Lakers in a regular-season league doubleheader at Big Rapids. Ferris posted a 13-0 win in a five-inning tilt and racked up a 15-2 five-inning decision over the LSSU in the nightcap. Ferris State produced a 3-1 mark against Northwood, which featured a regular-season conference sweep at Midland (April 5) as the Bulldogs prevailed 14-6 in five innings and 9-5 in the second game. The two teams met again later in the month (April 22) and split a non-league twinbill at Midland. FSU claimed a 9-2 win in the opener before being dealt a 4-3 loss by the Timberwolves in game two.

    National Ranking – Ferris State ranks seventh in the latest 2009 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, which was released Wednesday (April 1). The Bulldogs earned 274 points in the poll after garnering a sixth-place 283 points in the prior poll (3/25). Ferris had been listed seventh in the two prior polls (3/11 & 18).

    Third Frame – FSU has scored a team-leading 23 runs in the third inning alone this spring and has outscored its opponent 23-2 to date this season. Ferris holds a 19-6 advantage in the fourth frame as the Bulldogs have generated 85 runs this campaign for a 4.7 runs average per encounter. A season ago following its initial 18 appearances, FSU totaled 74 runs for a 4.1 average a game.

    Swinging A Hot Stick – Sophomore outfielder Rachel Wade (Canton) is batting a .571 average (8-14) in her last four games to date. Wade went 3-of-3 at the plate with two RBIs in game one at Cornerstone (3/26) and then turned in a 4-for-5 hitting effort which featured the game-winning RBI in the Bulldogs’ 3-2 league-opening 11-inning win against Grand Valley State on Monday (3/30) in FSU’s home opener.

    Did You Know? – Ferris State is 11-2 this season when not registering a home run in a contest. However, the Bulldogs are 3-0 when posting one roundtripper and 2-0 when notching at least two homers in an outing.

    National Preseason Ranking – The Bulldogs were ranked sixth nationally in the 2009 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. FSU finished the 2008 season ranked tied for fifth place in the NFCA’s final poll with a 164 points total. Ferris State received 311 points in the 2009 preseason poll, which was released Jan. 28.

    National Statistical Rankings – The Bulldogs rank sixth nationally in both earned run average (1.05) and winning percentage (.875) among the NCAA-II national statistical leaders thru games of March 29. FSU is listed 61st in stolen bases (1.25), 93rd in scoring (4.75), and 98th in home runs per game (0.5). Senior pitcher-outfielder Sarah Mueller (Santa Clarita, Calif./Valencia) ranks seventh in doubles per game (0.5) while senior first baseman Amanda Jager (Kalamazoo/Comstock) is listed 41st in walks (0.63).

    2008 Was Great – The Ferris State softball team concluded the 2008 season with a 35-18 overall record, which featured a first-place tying 16-4 GLIAC regular-season mark. The Bulldogs captured the 2008 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tourney title in the program's fifth regional tourney appearance. FSU then went on to place in a tie for fifth at the NCAA-II Softball Championships in its third such appearance on the national stage. Ferris State's 35 victories in the 2008 campaign represented the program's highest single-season wins total since 1999 when the Bulldogs compiled a school-record 46-18 overall record.

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