The tears were flowing freely in Oklahoma State's postgame news conference after the Cowgirls' 6-2 loss to California in an elimination game at the Women's College World Series on Saturday.
Just because the Cowgirls weren't supposed to be at the WCWS, that didn't make it any easier when they had to go home.
Cal got a two-out, three-run triple from freshman Ashley Decker in a four-run fifth inning that put the Bears on top for good at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium and ended Oklahoma State's magical postseason run.
The Cowgirls were the only unseeded team to reach the WCWS after knocking off Tennessee in regional play and Houston in the super regional.
But they were the victims of a pair of game-changing hits in Oklahoma City — a solo home run by Baylor's Kelsi Ketter in a 1-0 loss on Thursday, and Decker's triple on Saturday.
“When you start playing teams of this caliber, it comes down to one or two plays, maybe two or three pitched balls,” OSU coach Rich Wieligman said. “I think that's what it came down to. We played well. (Cal) just made one more play than us.”
Oklahoma State concluded the season at 42-20, and will say goodbye to four seniors who have been vital to Wieligman's construction of the program: Alysia Hamilton, Mariah Gearhart, Ashley Boyd and Sarah Odom.
Wieligman fought to find the words to describe what that group has meant to the team the last four years, especially concluding with the WCWS trip.
“It's hard to put it in words,” the coach said. “It just means everything.