The Fresno State softball team had its quickest exit from the NCAA tournament in 29 years.
The postseason wasn’t too kind to local players, either.
Among the six local players whose teams were in the tournament, only UCLA reserve Tara Mueller — a pinch runner from Clovis High — remained in the NCAAs after the regional round.
UCLA, the No. 7 overall seed, will host No. 10 Missouri in the Super Regional after going 3-0 in the Los Angeles Regional. Mueller didn’t play in the Bruins’ three games — a 9-1 win against Cal State Northridge, a 4-1 win against Texas and an 8-0 victory against San Diego State.
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On the season, Mueller is batting 1.000 (1 for 1) with eight runs and one RBI, primarily used as a substitute runner.
Fresno State lost 4-0 to North Dakota State, then 8-7 to Brigham Young to go two-and-out in the Eugene Regional, the first time since 1986 that the Bulldogs failed to win a postseason game.
Fresno State finished 40-16 and hit .325 while averaging 5.79 runs per game.
New Mexico State’s Kelsey Dodd can relate to producing solid stats for the season but experiencing an early elimination, too.
Dodd, a Bullard graduate, batted .346 with 14 home runs, 29 runs and 57 RBIs for the season. She even posted a .490 on-base percentage for the Aggies.
But New Mexico State (47-16) went 1-2 in regional play, twice losing to Minnesota (10-2, 2-0) with a 9-6 win against St. John’s in between.
Central Arkansas had two players from the central San Joaquin Valley in pitcher Kayla Gomness of Lemoore and outfielder Randi Wallace of Liberty-Madera Ranchos.
Central Arkansas (35-21) went 0-2 in the NCAA tournament, falling 8-0 to Oklahoma in five innings then 3-0 to Lehigh.
Gomness pitched in relief against Oklahoma and limited the Sooners to one run off eight hits in 31/3 innings. But by the time Gomness entered, Central Arkansas already trailed 5-0 with two outs in the first inning. Wallace did not see any action this season.
Former Bullard star Claire Stucker enjoyed a trip to the NCAAs with Mississippi State (36-21). But Stucker, a freshman, played in just three games this season, and the Bulldogs went 1-2 in the postseason with two losses to Baylor (8-4, 2-0) and a 2-0 win against Weber State.
San Diego State sophomore Sam Vlott, formerly of Chowchilla, played in only five games this season.
The Aztecs, who received an at-large bid after finishing second in the Mountain West to Fresno State, went 2-2 in the L.A. Regional but lost to UCLA in the final. The Aztecs lost to Texas 5-4, beat Cal State Northridge 5-4, then beat Texas 4-3 before falling to the Bruins.