AZUSA, Calif. – The Central Washington University softball team defeated Azusa Pacific 7-3 to stay alive and advance to tomorrow's decisive final game of the NCAA Division II West Regional Tournament with the winner moving on to the Super Regionals.
Central Washington and Azusa Pacific will square off at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, May 8
"Was a great day for us," CWU Head Coach Mike Larabee said. "This team has been resilient all season long and I knew these girls would compete after the loss a couple days ago."
With the win, the Wildcats earn their 41st victory of the season, which sets a new school record.
Brielle Copodonna started the Wildcats second game of the day in the same way she started their first game, with a big three-run homerun to put the Wildcats ahead 3-0 in the first inning.
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"Brielle has been in a minor slump, but it was just a matter of time before she snapped out of it, and today was a perfect day to catch fire."
Central Washington added to its lead in the following inning with Kailyn Campbell driving home Sammy Morris on a single to right field increasing the Wildcats' lead to 4-0.
Azusa Pacific got on the board in the fourth inning with a pair of doubles, leading to two runs to slice the CWU in half at 4-2.
Laura Steiner broke the game open for CWU, when coach Larabee called upon her to pinch-hit with two runners on and two outs in the fifth inning. Steiner took the second pitch and hit a line-drive three-run homer to left centerfield to give CWU a 7-2 lead.
"Laura has been working really hard and is always ready to come into the game and help us," Larabee said. "I had a gut feeling she would do something special, didn't think she would hit it out, but not surprising either."
Azusa Pacific got a solo homerun by Kayla Jimenez in the sixth inning, but Kiana Wood was able to keep the Cougars from making a comeback to earn her second win of the day and her 21st of the season.
"Kiana is our number one, plain and simple," Larabee said. "She knew we were relying on her today and she competed hard. She gave us everything she had today, it was an impressive performance."