BRONX, N.Y. – Third-seeded Dayton used a late RBI single from Kailee Budicin to defeat No. 5 Saint Louis, 1-0, and advance to the final game of the consolation bracket in the 2018 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship at Bahoshy Field on the campus of Fordham University.
The Flyers (31-24) play immediately again and will take on top-seeded Massachusetts, with the winner earning a championship final date with No. 2 Fordham on Sunday.
The Flyers and Billikens were locked in a pitchers duel for most of the game with both teams combining for three hits through five innings of play.
In the top of the sixth, Saint Louis loaded the bases against Jessica Gilliam, who started in the circle for the Flyers. Allie Macfarlane drew a walk against Gilliam to load the bases with two outs. The Flyers responded by bringing in Manda Cash to replace Gilliam.
Cash, facing a two-out, bases loaded situation got Alyssa Tarquinio to pop up to second base, allowing Dayton to escape the inning with no damage done.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kayla Haberstitch laced a one-out double to left center. The next batter, Kailee Budicin, gave the Flyers the only run they would need with her RBI single to left field, giving Dayton the late 1-0 lead.
Jessica Weaver took the circle in the top of the seventh, replacing Cash. Weaver retired all three Billikens in order to record her second save of the year. Cash earned her 16th win of the year. Maddie Baalman (15-17), Saint Louis’ starter, received the loss. Baalman pitched six innings, allowing four hits, one earned run and striking out one.