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2008 FERRIS STATE SOFTBALL -- BLOG 34
(NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS)

Ferris’ season comes to an end

By Sandy Gholston

Amanda Harrington
Ferris State University player Amanda Harrington watches a pitch from Lock Haven’s Kristin Erb during the NCAA Division II Women’s Softball National Championships at Memorial Park in Houston on Friday. (Photo/Sandy Gholston)
HOUSTON – The ending did was hardly the way Ferris State University would have written the script, but the Bulldogs’ Cinderella season finally came to an end.

In a battle of teams facing elimination, top-ranked Lock Haven scored once in the first, fifth and sixth innings to grab a 3-0 win against Ferris to end the Bulldogs’ season at the 2008 NCAA Division II Women’s Softball National Championships at Memorial Park on Friday afternoon. For a team not ranked nationally and just a No. 6 seed in its own region, entering NCAA Tournament play, the Bulldogs fell just a few wins shy of winning the sport’s ultimate prize – a national championship.

In spite of the loss, head coach Keri Becker was upbeat as she emphasized to her team the magnitude of its accomplishment this season – finishing fifth nationally.

Katie Kraai
Ferris State University’s Katie Kraai scoops up a throw to third base as a Lock Haven runner gets in safely during the NCAA Division II Women’s Softball National Championships at Memorial Park in Houston on Friday. (Photo/Sandy Gholston)
“I’m extremely proud of the young ladies on this team. You hate to give a pep talk after a tough loss, like this one, but I wanted them to take the time to appreciate what they have accomplished this season,” said Becker, whose Bulldogs struggled against Lock Haven’s outstanding pitcher, Kristin Erb (seven innings, one hit and two walks). “They needed to take time to appreciate what they had accomplished and look toward the future and what they need to do to be able to get back to this point and maybe beyond this point.”

Offense, expected to be the team’s strength this year, was what let the Bulldogs down during nationals. Ferris managed just two runs (in a 2-0 win over Francis Marion in the opening round) in three games in Houston. Mathematically speaking, it’s challenging to win much scoring only two runs in three games.

“I really feel bad for three people,” said Becker, whose Bulldogs had their season end at the hands of the nation’s No. 1-ranked NCAA Division II team. “I feel bad for Katie (Kraai, Ferris’ lone senior) because we would have liked to have been able to do something to keep her season going for a little longer than we were able to. And, I also feel for our pitchers. I think Holly (Bruntjens) and Sarah (Mueller) have pitched well for us all season and they’ve kept us close in games and that’s all you can ask for from your pitchers. We just needed to give them some more runs for some more support.”

Still, it’s hard to feel too bad at the end of such a special season.

If you have any questions, ideas or comments feel free to contact Sandy Gholston at sgholston2@netzero.com

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