ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. -– A bases-loaded walk in the top of the eighth inning proved to be the difference as Caldwell eliminated Southern Connecticut State 3-2 at the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament Sunday morning at Bob Klein Field.

The Cougars (45-11), ranked 20th nationally, will face host Molloy College in the final.

With the score tied at two after seven innings, Caldwell loaded the bases on an error, a single by sophomore Alyssa Calderon and a hit-batsman. With two outs, sophomore Megan Fryday drew a walk to plate freshman Caitlin McCready with the go-ahead run. Senior pitcher Kourtney Wilson locked up the victory by retiring the Owls in order in the bottom of the eighth.

Calderon put the Cougars ahead in the top of the first inning with a two-run home run, her eighth of the season. The lead remained until the bottom of the sixth, when Southern Connecticut scored twice on run-scoring hits from Alyssa Downs and Kaley Marden.

Wilson pitched all eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits while fanning two and walking one. Calderon led the Caldwell offense with three hits.

This is the third consecutive year and the fourth time in five years that the Cougars have advanced to the finals of the regional. Caldwell is making its ninth appearance in the NCAA Region Tournament in the past 10 years. The Cougars, who swept Molloy during the regular season, must defeat the Lions twice later Sunday to advance to next week's Super Regional.