STOCKTON, Calif. - The Tigers made it nine-straight wins on Sunday and got their third-straight conference series sweep with a 4-1 win over Saint Mary's on Sunday afternoon to wrap up the regular season. The win also clinches a second place finish for Pacific in the West Coast Conference which is the team's highest finish since joining the WCC in 2013-14.
Marissa Young got her 22nd start of the year and threw six innings with three strikeouts and just one earned and Megan Walters tossed one inning in relief for her third save of the year. Hailey Reed, Sydney Lahners and Cassidy Gustafson all added a pair of hits in the win and Samantha Owen hit her fourth home run of the year.
The Tigers end the regular season 27-24 overall, 10-5 in WCC play which are the most conference wins ever in a season since moving to the WCC. The loss drops Saint Mary's to 16-29 on the year, 2-10 in conference action.
The Gaels loaded the bases with one out in the first, but Marissa Young was able to get Mariani to foul out and Chew to ground out to her to end the threat. Saint Mary's got a leadoff double in the third but she was left stranded at third due to stellar defensive plays and solid pitching by Young.
Young led off the fourth striking out Dimercurio for her 200th strikeout of her career. In the bottom of the fourth Sydney Lahners led off with a double down the left field line and was replaced by pinch runner Faith Apolskis. With one down Cassidy Gustafson plated her fellow senior on a double of her own to make it 1-0. Next batter Samantha Owen quickly made it 3-0 as the freshman hit her fourth home run on the year to center field.
The Gaels got on the board in the top of the seventh on a solo shot to left off the bat of Bilotta to make it 4-1. However Megan Walters came in and pitched a perfect seventh inning to secure the victory.
A postseason berth is on the horizon for Pacific as Triple Crown Sports (TCS) and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) have partnered this year to introduce the National Invitational Softball Championships, which is a 48-team postseason event played this month. Selection Day is set for May 14th, with 32 teams receiving automatic berths, one from each of the nation's 32 conferences, and 16 at-large teams.