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On to the Regional Final for ATU Softball

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Trailing 3-2 and down to its final six outs, the Arkansas Tech University softball team was on the precipice of watching its 2019 season come to an end on Friday afternoon at the NCAA Division II Tournament Central Regional in Edmond, Okla.

But the nationally 12th-ranked Golden Suns weren't ready to go home yet.

Paty Loredo's run batted in on a single during the bottom of the sixth and Gaby Vazquez's walk-off sacrifice fly one inning later provided Arkansas Tech with a 4-3 victory over Southern Arkansas University and a berth in the regional championship round.

Arkansas Tech (46-14) will face nationally top-ranked University of Central Oklahoma (47-5) at noon on Saturday, May 11.

Live coverage will be provided by KARV 101.3 FM/610 AM and

The Bronchos, 22-1 at home this season, defeated the Golden Suns 3-2 earlier in the day on Friday. That means Arkansas Tech must win the noon game on Saturday and then defeat Central Oklahoma in the if necessary game to follow in order to extend its season and advance to the super regional.

Kristen Dempsey (16-4) was the winning pitcher against SAU on Friday. She pitched a scoreless top of the seventh inning in relief.

Bailey Bunch was 3-for-3 with two runs scored. She raced home with the game-winning run on Vazquez's decisive sacrifice fly.

Southern Arkansas, regular season champion of the Great American Conference, completed its season with a record of 46-13. The Golden Suns were 6-0 against the Lady Muleriders in 2019.