LAS CRUCES, N.M. (May 11) – Seattle University softball defeated Utah Valley, 8-5, at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament Thursday afternoon. SU advanced in the winner's bracket and will play top-seeded New Mexico State at 1:30 p.m. Mountain (12:30 p.m. Pacific) at NM State's Softball Complex.

The Redhawks (19-30) scored in the top of the first, but the Wolverines answered with three runs in the bottom of the second. From there, Seattle U controlled the contest, using timely hitting and a strong performance from Andie Larkins to advance in conference playoffs.

"We got our jitters out early," said Coach Geoff Hirai. "We fought back to advance to the next round."

In the first frame, Nicole Bolasky singled to center and advanced to second on an error. After Paige Bouska moved her to third, Bolasky came in on a Kaylee Ree single for a 1-0 lead.

UVU put together a rally in the second inning, taking a 3-1 advantage. SU immediately replied in the top of the third, though, tying the game. Sara Dominguez doubled to right center and Jessica Flanagan put runners on second and third with a base hit to left field. Bouska beat out a groundball to second, reaching base and plating Dominguez. A Madison Cathcart sacrifice fly evened the score at 3.

With one out in the fourth, Cherise Silvan laid down a bunt and beat the throw for a single. Flanagan drilled a double to left center, driving in Silvan to give SU a 4-3 lead. Larkins settled with the lead, ending the bottom of the fourth with a strikeout.

Larkins set UVU down in order in the fifth, as Cathcart made a sliding catch near the first-base dugout and then Larkins snagged a shot back to the circle for the second out. A 4-3 putout closed the frame.

In the sixth, Seattle U stretched its lead. Maddy Kristjanson singled and then Silvan posted a base hit. Dominguez then drove in Kristjanson with a single to center. A Flanagan sac fly made it 6-3. Cathcart doubled to left to spark a rally in the seventh. Savannah Loomis then hammered a home run to left center, giving SU an 8-3 advantage.

UVU scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Larkins came up with a strikeout to end the game and push the Redhawks into the next round.

Seattle U recorded 12 hits, as Silvan, Dominguez, and Flanagan combined to 6-9 with three RBIs and four runs scored. Every Redhawk starter tallied a hit. Larkins threw all seven innings for her 19th complete game of the year, allowing seven hits and striking out three batters.

The double elimination tournament continues Thursday, with SU set to play at 1:30 p.m. local time on Friday. NM State advanced with a come-from-behind 7-2 win over CSU Bakersfield on Thursday. The Aggies won two of three regular-season meetings with Seattle U.

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