Next Level

The Bulldogs look to build off of last year’s success to take the program to a new level.

Coming off last season’s 35-10 overall record and a second straight NCAA Division II Regional Tournament appearance, the Bulldogs will count on an experienced team to lead the way towards a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) championship and another Division II Championship regional bid.

One of the veteran leaders who will figure to make an impact this season will be 2009 First Team All-GLIAC selection Amanda Harrington, a senior second baseman.

Harrington enters this season tied for 11th on the program’s all-time home run list and is 16th in all-time batting average with a .298 career mark at Ferris.

“We’ve been working hard this offseason,” said Harrington. “We know exactly what it takes to win and how to do it.”

Another veteran who could be instrumental to this year’s success is senior pitcher/utility player Rhea Flores. Flores led the Bulldogs with six homeruns last season, as well as ranked second on the team in base hits with 43 and second in runs batted in (RBIs)with 25.

Senior pitcher/first baseman Kayle Stevenson will look to anchor the pitching staff, as she comes off of last season’s success with 12 victories and a 0.91 earned run average.

Though the team, led by 13th-year head coach Keri Becker, will have experience on its side, navigating a difficult 2010 schedule will be a challenge. Eight of the 46 teams the Bulldogs will face this season are either ranked in the top 25 or have received votes in the 2010 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Preseason Poll.

The team will be tested early in the season, as the Bulldogs will start off at the Alabama-Huntsville Charger Chillout on Feb. 19-21 in Decatur, Ala. The tournament will pit the Bulldogs against nationally top-ranked Alabama-Huntsville and fifth-ranked Indianapolis, among other top-ranked teams.

“We are definitely ready to take this program to the next level,” said Harrington. “We are a confident team and we love the thrill of taking on challenging teams.”

Ferris will travel to Florida a week later to take part in the Florida Rebel Spring Tournament in Kissimmee, where the team will play against ninth-ranked California, Pa., along with 13 other teams during March 6-13.

The team will open the GLIAC schedule with a home match-up against Saginaw Valley State on March 31.