RBI on bunt single keeps Utah afloat in NCAA softball tournament

Utes beat Morgan State 1-0 in the elimination game

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah's Haley Denning, shown during a game last season, drove in the only run of the game with a bunt single as the Utes beat Morgan State on Saturday in an NCAA elimination game in Durham, N.C.

The University of Utah softball team scored on a bunt single to defeat Morgan State 1-0 in a rain-delayed NCAA tournament elimination game Saturday in Durham, N.C.

The Utes (35-21) scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Shelbi Ortiz singled to shortstop and advanced to second base on an error. Ortiz moved to third base when Aliya Belarde grounded out. Haley Denning then laid down a bunt single to drive in Ortiz for the game’s only run.

Utah pitcher Sarah Ladd (10-7) held the Bears (35-20) to four hits over six scoreless to earn the win, and Mariah Lopez got the save by working the seventh.

The game was delayed by rain for three hours in the bottom of the seventh.

Utah left fielder Denning was 3 for 3 at the plate, and shortstop Shonty Passi was 2 for 3. The Utes had eight hits, and the Bears four.

Utah will face South Carolina in an elimination game on Sunday (time TBD), with the winner facing Duke for the Durham Regional title.

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