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FERRIS STATE BEGINS CONFERENCE SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT PLAY FRIDAY

GLIAC Co-Champions Earn Number Two Seed For The Second Consecutive Season

Click Here For 2008 GLIAC Softball Championship Tournament Bracket PDF

Amanda Harrington
Amanda Harrington and 2008 conference regular-season co-champion Ferris State are the GLIAC Softball Championship Tournament's No. 2 seed for the second straight season.
The second seeded Ferris State University softball team begins play in the 2008 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Softball Championship Tournament this Friday (May 2) morning as the Bulldogs meet the seventh-seeded Mercyhurst Lakers in Midland, Mich.

The double-elimination conference tournament will be held this weekend (May 2-4) at Currie Stadium and an adjacent field in the Emerson Park Complex.

Ferris State, which is currently 27-14 overall and tied for first place in the GLIAC regular-season standings with a 16-4 conference record, face Mercyhurst (22-28 overall; 7-13 GLIAC) in a 10 a.m. (EDT) conference-opening tourney tilt at Currie Stadium. A season ago, FSU was also seeded second and began the GLIAC Tourney with a 1-0 victory over Mercyhurst (May 4) as a result of a walkoff solo home run by Katie Kraai in the bottom of the seventh inning.

A win for Ferris State in their tourney-opening appearance would advance the Bulldogs to a 4 p.m. (EDT) matchup against the winner of the Saginaw Valley State-Northwood game. The second-round outing will be held at field three which is directly adjacent to Currie Stadium. Saginaw Valley State (30-14 overall; 14-6 GLIAC) is the No. 3 seed while Northwood (23-24 overall; 10-10 GLIAC) is the No. 6 seed. If Ferris State loses its opener, the Bulldogs will play the loser of the Saginaw Valley State-Northwood contest in a 2 p.m. (EDT) encounter at Currie Stadium.

Nationally 19th-ranked Wayne State (29-14 overall; 16-4 GLIAC), which shared this season's regular-season conference title with Ferris State, is the top seed and will go up against No. 8 seed Gannon (27-21 overall; 7-13 GLIAC) in a 12 p.m. (EDT) opening-round game. Ashland (27-15 overall; 13-7 GLIAC), the fourth seed, takes on fifth seed Grand Valley State (27-14 overall; 12-8 GLIAC) in the other remaining first-round matchup. The title game is scheduled for this Sunday (May 4) at 10 a.m. (EDT) and if necessary to the double-elimination format, the second contest will be conducted at 12 p.m. (EDT) to determine the tourney champion. The winner of the 2008 GLIAC Championship Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament (May 8-10) at a campus site yet to be determined.

GLIAC Softball Last season (May 5-6), the Bulldogs were the tourney's seventh seed and were eliminated as a result of suffering back-to-back losses to Northwood (1-0) and Hillsdale (5-4). Ferris concluded the 2006 campaign at 26-26 overall and 10-10 in the conference. The Bulldogs won the 2005 GLIAC Tournament and were co-overall conference champions. FSU went on to make its fourth NCAA Division II Regional Tournament appearance in the program's history and finished the season at 31-20 overall.

Last season (May 4-5), the second-seed Bulldogs compiled a 1-2 tourney mark as a result of dropping their last two outings to Gannon (1-0) and Saginaw Valley State (2-1) after claiming a first-round triumph over Mercyhurst (1-0). Despite the results, Ferris State went on to garner third place its fifth-ever NCAA-II Regional Tournament appearance and its second in the last three seasons. The Bulldogs finished the 2007 campaign at 31-17 overall as the season's wins total tied for the fifth-most single-season victories in the program's history.

FSU is seeking its third GLIAC Softball Championship Tournament crown. The Bulldogs won the conference tournament in 2000 and again in 2005 with four straight tourney victories.

Ferris State, under 11th-year head coach Keri Becker, has won 22 of its last 28 games to date this season. The Bulldogs are presently sixth in the latest (April 23) NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional rankings as released by the NCAA-II Softball Committee.

The 2008 season marks the fourth consecutive year in which only the top eight of the GLIAC's 11 teams qualify for the GLIAC Softball Championship Tournament. The criteria is based upon each team's regular-season conference record. The 1985 season marked the conference's first-ever post-season softball tournament.

All of the 2008 GLIAC Softball Championship Tournament games will feature live in-game scoring and can be viewed online at http://www.gliac.org/womens/softball/default.asp.

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