Bulldogs' Run Ends, Bested by Huskers
May 21, 2011
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The Fresno State softball team ended its 2011 season with a 5-0 loss to No. 16/20 Nebraska on a cold and windy Saturday evening at Smith Family Stadium.
"It's disappointing," senior Haley Gilleland during her final press conference as a Bulldog before starting her career in physical education and sports administration.
Fresno State (35-19) mustered three hits off Nebraska's junior ace pitcher Ashley Haggeman, including a double by freshman Demi Walker (Corcoran, Calif.), but couldn't overcome a resurgent Husker squad that scored an unearned run in the first, added another run in the third and tallied three more in the fourth to oust the Dogs from the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
"We just didn't play very well today," head coach Margie Wright said. "You can't let innings get away from you and Nebraska fought hard. This is never a way you want to end your season, but our four seniors had a great four years."
The Bulldogs' senior class featured four incredible young women - Gilleland, Nicole Angene, Caitlin Stiglich and Ashley Cox - that all contributed to a 168-73 overall record. They helped lift the Bulldogs to a 2009 WAC regular-season title and three runner-up finishes. In addition, they have been a part of two WAC Tournament Championship teams while guiding the Dogs to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including the playing in three regional championship games.
With the win, Nebraska (41-13) advanced to the regional championship finals at 1:30 p.m. against No. 11/12 Stanford and must defeat the Cardinal twice to qualify for next weekend's super regionals.
The Bulldogs finished with a 7-6 record against nationally ranked teams, including a 3-1 win over now-No. 2/2 Michigan, a 6-3 victory over then-No. 8/10 Missouri and a 4-3 win over then No. 19/18 Oklahoma State.
Fresno State will return to the field for the 2012 season next February, which will mark the Dogs' final campaign as a member of the Western Athletic Conference before moving to the Mountain West Conference for the 2013 season.
"We Are You Team!" - Fresno State remains the nation's only team to qualify for all 30 NCAA Tournament. You can always stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@FSAthletics).