BILLINGS, Mont. No. 22-ranked Saint Martins needed two games Saturday, but it secured the Great Northwest Athletic Conference softball tournament title and its first NCAA tournament berth after a 6-1 win over Simon Fraser at Montana State-Billings.
Simon Fraser won Saturdays first game, 3-2, to force a winner-take-all second game. The teams met Friday, when Saint Martins advanced to the final with an eight-inning win. Simon Fraser then beat Central Washington to earn the rematch against SMU. Saturdays victory at Bjorgum Field gave SMU (39-14) an automatic berth in the NCAA Division II tournament. The Saints will learn their opponent and regional location at 7:30 a.m. PST Monday.
SMU senior Taylor Bakos (15-7) went the distance, giving up four hits, striking out one batter and walking three. She had a shutout through 4 1/3 innings before the Clan (30-23) scored on Carly Lepoutres single.
Sophomore Sam Munger gave up three runs on eight hits in Game 1, but she extended her hitting streak to 22 games with a 4-for-7 performance on the day.
Munger was 3-for-4 in Game 2, when she hit an RBI single during a three-run third inning for the Saints, who grabbed a 4-0 lead.