TYLER, Texas -- Brenna Walek's first-inning grand slam set the tone as No. 13-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.) stayed alive Friday with a 9-1 victory against Rochester (N.Y.) at the national tournament.
Sophomore Katie Jo Delisle took the pitching win with a five-hitter.Walek's blast followed three one-out singles by Bianca Peterson, Emily Gregory and Erin Mussett. It was Walek's 17th home run of the season and tied Nikki Conway's conference record set in 2006 for most HRs in a season. Gregory had three hits and Walek had two hits and one walk.
UST added four more runs in the second inning after two were out. Jenna Hoffman singled, Peterson walked, and both advanced on a passed ball. Gregory's two-run double made it 6-0, and two more scored later on bases-loaded walks. UST had a walk-off win in the fifth on the run rule as Megan DuPuis had a bunt single, Hoffman walked and Micaela Trainor had an RBI infield single.
In her past 16 games, Gregory has 25 hits and 29 RBI while batting .490.
Hoffman's single tied Carrie Embree's MIAC record for hits in a season with 80.
St. Thomas (43-8) is now 6-0 in elimination games in this year's NCAA postseason play. The Tommies will tie a school record for most games in a season Saturday (52) as they play in another elimination situation. They face Montclair State, a 5-2 loser to Tufts. The Toms are assured of a top-five finish but with one more win will clinch a top-four finish.