No. 6-seed Cal State Dominguez Hills edges No. 3-seed Sonoma State
ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Thirty minutes after a bolt of lightning struck eight miles away from Karl Brooks Field, the site of the NCAA West 2 Regional where No. 6-seed Cal State Dominguez Hills and No. 3-seed Sonoma State were engaged in a scoreless game one of the sub-regional at host Dixie State, redshirt freshman and pinch-hitter Jasmine Ruiz struck her own type of lightning.
With a runner on third and one out when play resumed, Ruiz sent a 1-2 offering from CCAA Pitcher of the Year Samantha Lipperd into deep left field to bring home Christina Chavez with the go-ahead run as the Toros took a 1-0 win against the Seawolves to advance into the winner's bracket.
With the win, CSUDH snaps a two-game skid to improve to 35-21 on the year and will face the Red Storm after DSC took a 14-5 win against Hawaii-Hilo in game two.
Sonoma State, meanwhile, fell to 36-20 and will battle UHH in an elimination game.
With two of the best pitchers in the league and nation set to face off, the pitcher's duel lived up to its billing as neither offense was able to score a run through six innings of play.
Toro Christina Chavez and Seawolf Megan Konieczka provide two-thirds of each team's offense with two hits apiece, including a pair of doubles by Chavez.
In fact, it was her second two-bagger of the game in the seventh that proved the difference as she moved to third on a Daisy Beltran sacrifice bunt and scored on Ruiz's sacrifice on the fourth pitch she saw from Lipperd and the first after a 41-minute delay due to the lightning strike.
That proved enough for Jimenez, who improved to 25-9 on the year while fanning six to up her CSUDH single-season strikeout record to 208 with at least two games left in an award-winning and record-setting career. Lipperd, meanwhile, who along with Jimenez was named an NFCA first-team All-Region selection, fell to 22-11 on the year.