Humboldt State got off to a fast start and Saint Martin’s never caught up as the Saints’ record-breaking softball season ended Sunday with a 5-3 loss in the NCAA Division II West 1 Regional in Arcata, Calif.
The 17th-ranked Saints finished the season 41-16 while becoming the first team in school history to win an NCAA tournament game.
The fifth-ranked Lumberjacks (50-12) advance to the NCAA West Super Regional, a best two-out-of-three series against Cal State Dominguez Hills. The site and dates will be determined.
Senior catcher Courtney Hiatt hit a two-run double, and pinch-runner Emily Herrmann scored on a single by Hannah Williams as the Lumberjacks took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Hiatt, the MVP of the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament the previous week, finished 3-for-4 for HSU, which is on a 14-game winning streak.
The Lumberjacks defeated the Saints, 6-5, on Saturday, which meant Saint Martin’s had to beat Humboldt State twice Sunday to advance to the super regional.
“We can’t go into next weekend overconfident,” Hiatt said. “We have to keep doing what we’ve been doing, playing our game. We won another game without any home runs, so we can do both. We can hit home runs, and we can win a game without home runs.”
Katie Obbema and Lizzie Perez limited the Saints to five hits. Perez (20-5) earned the victory in relief, allowing one hit in 32/3 innings. She won all three games this weekend after not pitching for almost two weeks.
“I knew that once I went in, I had to do what I do best,” Perez said.
Saint Martin’s cut the deficit to 3-1 on Dani Wall’s solo home run in the bottom of the second. It was the Tenino High graduate’s fifth homer of the season.
The Lumberjacks made it 4-1 when a run scored on a two-out wild pitch in the top of the third.
In the bottom of the inning, Madi Davis doubled with one out and scored on Megan Miller’s sacrifice fly. Sam Munger extended her hitting streak to 26 games with an RBI to bring home Lacey McGladrey, who reached on an error.
The Lumberjacks wrapped up the scoring on Dani Randall’s RBI single in the top of the fourth inning.
“People delivered when we needed them to deliver,” Hiatt said. “This weekend has been a total team effort. Everybody on our team contributed in one way or another.”
Humboldt State’s last loss was a 17-3 defeat against Sonoma State on April 13.
Taviah Jenkins hit a double for the Saints.