SALEM, Va. – UC-San Diego put together a solid all-around game and fought off a feisty Saginaw Valley State squad 2-1 on Sunday afternoon.
Jennifer De Fazio broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with a solo blast over the left field wall for a 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth, Natalie Wellman lined a pitch that appeared to be heading in for a double, but Sarah Woofter made a diving play to her left to keep the Cardinals’ off the base paths.
The Cardinals threatened in the fifth, but with two outs and runners on first and second, the lead runner was picked off trying to advance to third, ending the frame.
The Tritons added to their margin when Esther Strom unleashed a long double off the center field wall, driving in Charly Swanberg. Swanberg had reached on a single and moved to second on a groundout.
SVSU got on the board in the bottom of the seventh with a solo blast by Jillian Peterson. Her round-tripper was the ninth of the season for her and was a line drive over the right field fence. The team had two runners on with two outs, but Camille Gaito struck out a Cardinal looking to end the game.
Gaitto went the distance for the victory. She gave up one run on four hits while striking out 12 and walking just two. Jade Fulton continued her strong tournament, registering nine strikeouts while tossing a complete game in the loss. She gave up two runs on nine hits and did not walk a batter.
UC-San Diego is now 44-13 on the season and Saginaw Valley State is 42-18.
The Tritons will now face either Alabama-Huntsville or or Midwestern State in the championship Monday at noon ET.