Austin Owens / The Lantern
The Ohio State softball team ended its season Sunday afternoon after falling to the California Golden Bears in a 7-0 decision.
“We’ve got a lot of pride. We play for the name on the front of our jerseys,” senior second baseman Whitney Cooper said.
OSU (39-14) fought through the losers bracket after falling to Kentucky, 6-5, but then beat Bucknell, 6-0, and Kentucky, 4-2, to face California. The Golden Bears didn’t give up one run all weekend.
“I don’t know if we ran out of gas or what,” coach Linda Kalafatis said.
“We played our guts off to get here and we battled back — we stuck together as a team.”
The Golden Bears jumped on the board in the first inning with one run and then added another five in inning number two.
But senior pitcher Megan Miller forced the Bears into three ground-outs in the top of the third.
“Megan tried to put the team on her back and it got us to this point,” Kalafatis said. “These seniors played as hard as they could.”
The Buckeyes’ first of only two hits came from senior outfielder Leah Ledford in the bottom of the third. Ledford’s single and stolen base didn’t able a much-needed Buckeye rally.
In the fifth inning the Bears posted their seventh and last run of the game.
Senior captain Courtney Pruner’s single in the bottom of the seventh with two outs was the second and last hit of the game for the Buckeyes.
The 2010 senior class end their careers with 159 wins, tying for second in the OSU record books for the all time winningest class.
“We gave every last drop we possibly had in our entire bodies,” senior catcher Sam Marder said. “It’s hard not to leave disappointed but I don’t think we’re going to regret anything about this season. I don’t think ‘excuse’ ever entered our vocabulary.”
The Golden Bears now advance to the NCAA Super Regional in Athens, Georgia to face the Georgia Bulldogs.