An unforgettable, historic season came to an end for the Hillsdale College softball team Saturday afternoon.
The Chargers were eliminated from the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional, losing a pair of games to Southern Indiana (9-0) and host Grand Valley State (7-0). Hillsdale's season ends with a 25-16 overall record.
In the opener, the Screaming Eagles outhit the Chargers 10-3 and ended the game in the fifth inning thanks to the NCAA's run rule. Juniors Katie Kish and Jessica Taylor, and freshman Madison Rathbun accounted for the team's three hits.
In the second game, GVSU, the region's No. 1 seed, scored once in the first inning but was shut out over the next three as freshman pitcher Erin Hunt persevered through another heavy workload. GVSU scored twice in the fifth on a two-run home run and tacked on four more in the top of the seventh to widen the margin of the game.
Hunt, who tied the single-season school record for wins with 20, had 11 strikeouts in the final two games of the season at Saturday's regional action. She finished the season with 197 strikeouts, third-most in a season in school history.
This represented Hillsdale's second trip to the NCAA regional tournament and first in 27 years. No starting players in the regional will be lost to the team to graduation, so it's fair to say the program's next trip to the NCAA Tournament will occur in less than 27 years from now.