Golden Hurricane season ends in Lincoln

LINCOLN, Neb. – Lacey Middlebrooks gave up only two runs as she pitched a complete game Saturday, but it wasn’t quite enough.  The Golden Hurricane offense provided only one run in support and Northern Iowa defeated Tulsa, 2-1, ending its season.13_SB_GEN_VR_m

Tulsa finished 2013 at 42-16-1, having made it to the NCAA Tournament for three consecutive years.

Freshman Catherine Horner had the Golden Hurricane’s lone RBI, driving in Jill Barrett to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning.

But UNI would answer quickly and jumped back on top in the bottom of the inning when Caitlin Wnek walked with the bases loaded.

Tulsa coach John Bargfeldt reflected on the progress of the team over the course of the year.

“The last three games of the season we’re very disappointed in,” Bargfeldt said.  “That’s not how we’ve played most of the year.

“Our hitting has been so much better for most of the year and that’s why we struggle to accept what has happened here.

“The team came out of the chute and just played tremendous ball against some highly ranked teams.

“And that’s probably why its disheartening for me because I know how we’ve played against those teams and how we’ve beaten those teams.  And we just came up short this weekend, but that’s just this game.”

And he knows the part that his upperclassmen have played in the team’s success.

“You have to be proud of the girls for what they’ve done all year long,” Bargfeldt said.

“Our core classes are the seniors and juniors. They’ve raised the bar so much that we are super disappointed with the results.  Before they came in, we were just wanting to get to a regional and now we’re not satisfied.  Three 40-win seasons in a row has never been done.

“The seniors are a huge part of setting the bar at another level to the point that we are not happy unless we are competing for a regional championship.  And unfortunately, we just didn’t get it done this week.”