Ohio State wraps up 2010 with 39-14 record after 7-0 loss to Golden Bears Sunday

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After fighting back through the loser’s bracket of the 2010 NCAA Columbus Regional bracket, the Ohio State softball team was eliminated by No. 11 seed California Sunday, 7-0, at Buckeye Field.

The Buckeyes conclude their 2010 season with a 39-14 overall record, after defeating Bucknell and Kentucky Saturday to advance to the final day of the regional championship.

The Golden Bears (44-17) now advance to the NCAA Super Regional and face Georgia. Both Cal and Georgia went 3-0 at their respective regional championships.  

“We played our guts off and battled back, sticking together as a team,” Linda Kalafatis, Ohio State head coach, said. “It was good for our younger players to get some experience from this and our seniors gave it their all. Cal’s an excellent team and we knew it was going to be tough.”

In the first, California jumped on the board as Jamia Reid hit an infield single and stole second before scoring on a Valerie Arioto RBI single. The Golden Bears added five runs on three hits, including a three-run home run for Arioto, Cal’s starting pitcher, to take a 6-0 lead in the second inning.

Megan Miller settled in for the Buckeyes in the circle, forcing the Bears into three ground outs in the top of the third. In the fourth, Cal put runners on first and second but a great snag by centerfielder Vanessa Spears ended the half stanza.

In the top of the fifth, junior leftfielder Dee Dee Hillman made a spectacular diving catch on the warning track in left centerfield but with two outs, the Golden Bears still were able to score a run. Frani Echavarria hit a double to short left center, which Hillman made a valiant attempt at catching, before Vernae Sevilla singled to bring Echavarria home.

Miller buckled down in the final two innings, shutting out the side in the sixth and facing just four batters  in the seventh. In the bottom half of the inning, senior captain Courtney Pruner singled to left with two outs, but was unable to start the needed Buckeye rally.

The 2010 senior class of Lindsay Bodeker, Whitney Cooper, Sam Marder, Megan Miller, Courtney Pruner and Rebecca Schultz end their careers with 159 wins which ties for second in the OSU record book on the all-time winningest class list.

Senior Thoughts:
Whitney Cooper, senior second baseman
Thoughts on her senior season
“We take a lot of pride in what we do and what is on the front of our jerseys.”

Leah Ledford, senior outfielder
Thoughts on her senior season and the tournament
“I know I drew inspiration from (Courtney) Pruner, and all the pain she played through every day. It just wasn’t her either. I got inspiration from all our seniors and what we went through.”

Courtney Pruner, senior outfielder and designated player
Thoughts on her senior season and the tournament
“We had to lead this team and we knew what we had to do. I think from what we had to overcome and go through this year we did a pretty good job.”

Sam Marder, senior catcher
Thoughts on the game, her senior season, and the tournament
“We gave every last drop of what we had in our entire bodies. I don’t think we let our injuries get to us. We had what we had and nothing ever derailed us from our goals. I think we accomplished our goals no matter what. I’m really proud of this team and our seniors.”