Weekly Notes Games 42+: Ferris State at NCAA-II Sub-Midwest Regional Tournament

May 5, 2009

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    *Click Here For 2009 NCAA-II Sub-Midwest Regional Information*

    FSU Softball FSU Softball At A Glance: The Ferris State University softball team will be making its seventh NCAA Division II Regional appearance this weekend (May 8-10) as the nationally sixth-ranked Bulldogs compete in the 2009 NCAA-II Softball Sub-Midwest Regional Tournament at Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Mich. Ferris State is seeded second in the four-team sub-regional tourney field and will face third-seed Northern Kentucky this Friday (May 8) at 11:30 a.m. (EDT) in its regional-opening contest. The double-elimination tourney is being conducted at the SVSU Sports Complex.

    The 2009 Season: Ferris State has a current 33-8 overall record and produced an 18-4 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) mark this season. The Bulldogs concluded last weekend's (May 1-2) GLIAC Tournament in Midland, Mich., with a 1-2 tourney ledger. The Bulldogs registered a 6-4 tourney-opening win over Northwood last Friday (May 1) before suffering a 9-5 loss to Saginaw Valley State in its second game of the day. Ferris State was then eliminated from the conference tourney as a result of a 4-0 setback versus Wayne State last Saturday (May 2).

    Northern Kentucky is currently 31-21 overall this season and was 13-11 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). The Norse claimed the 2009 GLVC Tournament title last Sunday (May 3) with a 10-2 victory over Lewis in the championship game at East Peoria, Ill.

    Lewis, which will be making its fourth straight regional tournament appearance, has accumulated a 38-18 overall record and was 13-9 GLVC action this spring. The Flyers suffered a 10-2 loss to Northern Kentucky in last Sunday's (May 3) GLVC Tournament Championship game.

    Saginaw Valley State has compiled a present 35-9 overall record this season, which included an 18-4 GLIAC ledger. The Cardinals became back-to-back (2008 and 2009) GLIAC Tournament Championsh with their 1-0 tourney championship-game victory over Wayne State last Sunday (May 3) at Midland, Mich.

    The Coach: Ferris StateKeri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 12th season, 381-235-1 (.618). 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.

    37th Season – The 2009 campaign represents the 37th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are presently 738-642-3 overall (.535) since the program’s inception in 1973. During that period, FSU has compiled 17 20-plus win seasons, including three consecutive (1997-99) 40 or more victory campaigns.

    The Coaches: Ferris State – Keri Becker (Saginaw Valley State, 1995), 12th season, 381-235-1 (.618); Northern Kentucky – Kathy Stewart, 11th season; Lewis – George DiMatteo, 26th season; Saginaw Valley State – Everett Roper, 2nd season.

    Becker vs. The Opposition: Northern Kentucky – 2-8-0; Lewis – 4-8-0; Saginaw Valley State – 21-15-0.

    37th Season – The 2009 campaign represents the 37th season of varsity competition for the Ferris State Softball program. The Bulldogs are presently 738-642-3 overall (.535) since the program’s inception in 1973. During that period, FSU has compiled 17 20-plus win seasons, including three consecutive (1997-99) 40 or more victory campaigns.

    In The NCAA Regionals: Ferris State will be making its seventh NCAA Division II Regional appearance in the program’s history and its fourth in the last five seasons this weekend (May 8-10). The Bulldogs won the 2008 Great Lakes Regional Tournament (May 7-11) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Ill., with a 4-0 tourney mark. Ferris would then register a fifth-place tying finish at the 2008 NCAA-II National Softball Championships (May 14-16) in Houston, Texas. Softball Prior to last season, FSU competed in the 2007 Great Lakes Regional (May 10-13) at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., and produced a 2-2 record.

    NCAA Regionals Performance: Ferris State has compiled a current 15-7 all-time record in regional action, which includes a 10-5 mark in its last 15 post-season appearances. The Bulldogs captured back-to-back Great Lakes Regional Championship titles in 1998 and 1999 before claiming the 2008 regional crown all under current head coach Keri Becker. FSU has outscored the opposition in its six regional appearances by a combined 96-to-54 margin.

    NCAA Softball National Ranking – Ferris State is ranked sixth in the latest 2009 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, which was released last Wednesday (April 29). The Bulldogs, who received 289 points in the most recent national poll, had been listed sixth place in the previous four weekly polls. Ferris State was listed sixth in the NFCA’s 2009 preseason poll with a 331 points total.

    Six Earn All-GLIAC Honors – Ferris State placed six players on the 2009 All-GLIAC teams, which were announced last Friday (May 1) at the GLIAC Tournament in Midland, Mich. Junior second baseman Amanda Harrington and senior pitcher-outfielder Holly Bruntjens received first-team recognition. A pair of juniors, designated player Rhea Flores and pitcher Kayle Stevenson earned second-team plaudits. Representing the Bulldogs on the honorable mention team were senior first baseman Amanda Jager and senior catcher Krystle Bailey. Both Harrington and Bruntjens were second-team all-league selections a season ago.

    Worth Mentioning – Ferris State shutout all four of its opponents at the 2008 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional in Edwardsville, Ill. The Bulldogs didn’t allow a single run in a combined 36 innings as Holly Bruntjens pitched FSU to three of the four victories en route to being chosen as the tourney’s Most Outstanding Player. Ferris bested Saginaw Valley State, 1-0, in its opener (5/7) and then outlasted Lewis, 1-0, in a 15-inning contest (5/9). The Bulldogs went on to post a 4-0 triumph over Wayne State (5/10) and a 1-0 decision versus 2007 national champion Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (5/11) in the championship game.

    Regional PerformerHolly Bruntjens boasts a 4-1 career mark in NCAA Regional play while posting a 0.75 earned run average (four earned runs allowed) in 37.1 innings. She also has fanned 25 batters in six regional appearances. Bruntjens was named the 2008 Great Lakes Regional Tourney’s Most Outstanding Player and was an all-tournament team selection.

    30-Win Plateau – For the third consecutive season and the ninth time in the Ferris State program’s history, the Bulldogs have achieved at least 30 wins in a single season. The Bulldogs’ 33 victories are tied for the fifth most in school history (33-18 in 2000). All but one (1995) of the 30-win or more seasons occurred under present head coach Keri Becker.

    Flores’ Big BatRhea Flores has been a key performer in FSU’s success this season with team highs in home runs (six) and slugging pct. (.508). She’s also tied for top squad honors in base hits (40) and is second among the Bulldogs’ leaders in RBIs (24). Flores is batting 35 points higher this season (.323) compared to a year ago (.288).

    Effective Duo – Ferris State’s two primary hurlers, Holly Bruntjens and Kayle Stevenson have combined for a 24-7 mark in the pitching circle this spring in 38 appearances. The two have notched a combined 1.37 earned run average (39 earned runs allowed) and totaled 151 strikeouts to date for the 2009 campaign.

    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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