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Pitt softball dream season ends despite successful weekend slate

By Dan Sostek / Sports Editor

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After a defining season, in which the Pitt softball team set a program high for wins, the Panthers were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament Regional round this weekend. The team went 2-2 overall in its slate of games in Ann Arbor, Mich., from Friday to Sunday.

 

FRIDAY, MAY 15: CALIFORNIA 11, PITT 3

Pitt senior ace Savannah King struggled against the Golden Bears, allowing all 11 runs in 4.1 innings of play, as the game ended after five innings because of a mercy rule. The sole bright spot of the contest was junior Jenna Modic’s home run in the third inning. The loss meant that Pitt would need to win both its games on Saturday to stay alive.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 16: PITT 6, OAKLAND 3

The Panthers fell to an early 3-0 deficit after a rough first inning by King, in which she was relieved by freshman Kayla Harris. Harris thrived, allowing no runs, four hits, no walks and striking out six in six innings. Still, Pitt trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the fifth inning. A single by sophomore Kaitlin Manuel would give the Panthers the lead for good in the bottom frame of that inning, as Pitt would take the victory 6-3, setting up a rematch with the Golden Bears.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 16: PITT 6, CALIFORNIA 3

Pitt was able to strike in the first inning with a sacrifice fly by McKayla Taylor. But the Panthers surrendered the lead in the fourth inning, allowing two runs to the Golden Bears. But Modic came up with the biggest hit of Pitt’s season in the fifth, a grand slam off Cal ace Katie Sutherland-Finch to give Pitt a 5-2 lead. After tacking on one more in that inning, Pitt was able to hold on, despite a bases-loaded scare in the top of the seventh. Harris recorded 10 strikeouts in the outing.

 

SUNDAY, MAY 17: MICHIGAN 10, PITT 3

Despite the magical run to the tournament, there was no stopping the Wolverines, the third ranked team in the nation, particularly at home in Ann Arbor. Michigan jumped out to a big lead right away, scoring a quick five runs in the first inning, then three more in the top of the third. Even with the loss, Modic continued her terrific tournament play, going 2-3 with two RBI. The Panthers finished the season with a 37-22 record.

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Pitt softball dream season ends despite successful weekend slate