TYLER, Texas -- The Pacific Lutheran Lutes scored three
runs in the top of the seventh inning to give themselves a comfortable margin
as they went on to claim a 5-1 win Sunday over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at the
Tyler Regional of the NCAA Division III Softball Championship Tournament.
The run support was more than enough for PLU's Stacey
Hagensen, who picked up her third victory in as many days as she helped lead
the Lutes into Monday's regional championship round. Hagensen (3-0) threw
struck out five batters and scattered only three hits en route to the
Hagensen was unhittable for all but one CMS hitter
through the first six innings as she retired the Athenas in order in the first,
third, fourth and sixth innings. CMS hitter Amanda Banducci was the only Athena
player to give Hagensen any trouble, knocking a single in the second inning and
home run to left field in the bottom of the fifth.
CMS freshman Hayley Schultz absorbed the loss for the
Athenas, giving up four earned runs over 6 2/3 innings.
Amanda Hall went 2-for-3 for the Lutes, which included a
2-RBI double in the top of the seventh inning. Hall's double off CMS relief
pitcher Rebecca Gularte scored Hagensen and Kaaren Hatlen and gave the Athenas
a four-run lead.
For the first time in the regional tournament, PLU's
Montessa Califano batted in the leadoff position for the Lutes. The move paid
off as Califano went 3-for-4 with three singles.
The Lutes struck first in the top of the third inning.
After loading the bases with one out, Glenelle Nitta knocked home the game's
first run with a sacrifice fly that scored Haley Harshaw.
PLU extended its lead in the fourth when Lindsey
Matsunaga executed a perfect squeeze play when her bunt allowed Spencer Sherwin
to score from third base.
With only two runs allowed over three complete outings,
Hagensen lowered her ERA to 0.70 for the regional tournament.
The Lutes head to the championship round Monday when they
will face a yet-to-determined opponent. The Lutes will have two chances to
claim one win in the double-elimination tournament, with the championship round
scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. Monday.
If the Lutes' opponent wins the 1:30 game Monday, the
teams will play a second, winner-take-all contest approximately 45 minutes
after the conclusion of the first game.