“It’s terribly disappointing, but to get this far isn’t a fluke,” Kelley said. “It wasn’t an accident. These girls have worked really hard for a long time to play at the level they play at.
“I’m extremely proud of them.”
Kelley said as many as three girls from this season’s team could be back on the diamond next year for another shot at a return trip to the World Series in Portland, Ore., and even in the tough loss Wednesday, he said he hoped the players all learned about more than just softball.
“They’re going to run into a lot tougher things in life, and it’s my job to teach them that,” he said. “No matter what they do, it’s not over till it’s over. Never quit.”