FSU softball ranked sixth in preseason poll

By Ferris State Athletics

BIG RAPIDS — The Ferris State University softball team has been picked to finish sixth in the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Preseason Coaches Poll announced by the league office on Tuesday (Feb. 7).

The Bulldogs were picked sixth in voting by the league’s member head coaches as the GLIAC unveiled its 2018 preseason rankings today. Grand Valley State was tabbed first with 60 points with Saginaw Valley State second at 59 points as the two squads each earned four first-place votes.

Behind GVSU and SVSU was Wayne State in third (52) with Ashland fourth (40), Davenport fifth (32) and FSU sixth (28). Behind FSU came Northwood (24), Purdue Northwest (15) and Tiffin (14) in the nine-member preseason rankings. Wayne State received the lone remaining first place vote.

Ferris State will embark on a new era under first-year head coach Kristin Janes this spring. Janes begins her first campaign at the FSU helm and takes over a Bulldog program that has made eight trips to the NCAA Tournament in school history and won 24 games or more 11 times in the past 14 years.

The Bulldogs return 17 squad members from last season’s team that reached the GLIAC Tournament for the second consecutive year and have added 12 newcomers, giving the program one of its largest rosters in recent memory.

Ferris State welcomes back a trio of All-GLIAC honorees from a year ago in first baseman Sarah Meredith (Rogers City) along with standout pitcher Sam Bates (Springport) and infielder Lexi Hongisto (Gladstone). In addition, senior outfielder Emily Smith (Rochester Hills/Rochester) and senior catcher Emily Reed (Bay City/John Glenn) have both also previously claimed all-conference recognition in their FSU careers.

The Bulldogs, who have finished in the top half of the GLIAC standings each of the previous two seasons, open the year in late February at the Southern Indiana Tournament in Evansville (Ind.) before venturing to Florida for their annual spring trip at The Spring Games in early March.

FSU is slated to open league play on March 21 at rival Grand Valley State with the first home action at the FSU Softball Field scheduled for Friday, March 30, against the Northwood Timberwolves in Big Rapids. In all, the Bulldogs have 48 regular-season games on the docket in 2018.

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