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Pitt softball falls to Michigan in regional final, 10-3

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Photo used with permission of the University of Pittsburgh athletics department - www.pittsburghpanthers.com

Pitt's magical postseason softball run finally came to an end on Sunday as the Panthers fell to Michigan in the regional final of the NCAA Tournament, 10-3.

Many of us were hoping to watch the game on ESPNU, who suddenly and without reason decided to preempt it for Oklahoma-Texas A&M. Without knowing the entire decision process (so I'm trying to be fair here), it has the look of a really a low-class move by a major network to not only not deliver the game they advertised, but to not adequately explain why. Perhaps the reason came later, but there was no announcement nor explanation as to what happened at the onset or the early part of the game.

Even Pitt softball was left in the dark:

The game was on ESPN3/WatchESPN, but that is only for those with a proper subscriber that have access to it. I did (Verizon), but it's a really bush league move by a network who likely just wanted to air a game they deemed more acceptable without reason.

To the actual game, the team did what they could in mounting a comeback, but started so poorly that it was too big of a lead to overcome. The Panthers quickly fell behind 5-0 in the first inning and Michigan added three more in the third for an insurmountable 8-0 lead.

Pitt got another big game from Jenna Modic who got the team's first hit of the game in the first inning, then added a two-RBI single in the third. Carly Thea added another RBI and the Panthers cut the lead to 8-3. Michigan, however, got two of those back in the fifth to go ahead 10-3, providing the final score.

Despite the disappointing loss, it was a banner year for the team. Pitt won the most games in program history. They scored a pair of upset wins over ranked teams Notre Dame and North Carolina in reaching the ACC Tournament final. And after dropping their first NCAA Tournament game to Cal, the Panthers rebounded for their first-ever tourney win beating Oakland and then coming back to beat the ranked Cal team to reach the regional finals against top ten Michigan.

Overall, a great season for a program that hasn't had many of them. This is hopefully the thing they need to build upon.

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