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CSU Bakersfield Bats Explode in Fifth for 6-1 Win

NCAA Division II Championship Coverage 

Cal State Bakersfield erupted for four runs in the fifth inning as the Roadrunners rallied to knock off Central Oklahoma 6-1 in opening-round action at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship Thursday in Salem, Va. 

Bakersfield (51-10) led off the inning with a one-out single from Kianna Urbanski, who reached base in all three at-bats. That led to a streak of four straight hits that included an RBI base hit from Renee Rubio, a run-scoring double from Amber Mills and a Bethany Snow groundout that completed the rally. 

“I tried to hit a hard line drive, put the ball in play and make their defense work,” Rubio said of her base hit to the left field fence. 

CSUB added two more in the sixth off Bronchos starter Alli Blake. With one out, Cara Klein singled and Urbanski reached on a error at third base. Both runners scored two hitters later as a two-out error at third allowed Allison Amezcua to reach and keep the inning alive. 

“I was worried that the longest we went without scoring, the more confidence Central Oklahoma would get,” Bakersfield head coach Kathy Welter said. “Once we started hitting, we started putting the ball in play and hitting it hard. It was a good performance in our first game.” 

Central Oklahoma (30-16) broke up the pitchers’ dual in the top of the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. With one out, Lindsay Tripp singled and Christin Dobbs followed by reaching on an error to second base. Karmen Krauk ended the scoreless streak by taking a pitch to right field in front of a diving Bethany Snow that plated Tripp with the game’s first run. 

Christie Hill moved her record to 25-8 with the win. The Louisville Slugger/NFCA First Team All-American surrendered just one run on four hits with four strikeouts in the complete-game outing. Alli Blake took the loss to fall to 17-11, being struck for all six runs, four earned, on 10 hits. 

The Roadrunners advance to face the winner of Thursday’s final game between Lock Haven and SIU-Edwardsville Friday at 7:30 p.m., while UCO will take on the loser of the contest Friday at 2:30 p.m.