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Cal State Bakersfield was one strike away.

Starting pitcher Brianna Sanchez had made it 6 2/3 innings without allowing a run, escaping several jams with the help of a resurgent Roadrunner defense. Clinging to a 1-0 lead, she had UC Santa Barbara's No. 9 hitter, Sam Denehy, in a 2-2 count with Lauren Lewis on first base.

Reporter Henry Greenstein can be reached at 661-395-7374. Follow him on Twitter: @HenryGreenstein.

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