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Murphy sends San Diego State past Utah 4-3 in super regional opener

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — AJ Murphy hit a go-ahead two-run double in the top of the fourth inning and San Diego State held on for a 4-3 victory over Utah in the first game of the best-of-3 Salt Lake City Super Regional on Friday night.

The Aztecs (39-15) will advance to the Women's College World Series with a win over Utah (40-14), ranked 17th in the coaches poll, on Saturday. A win by the Utes would force a Sunday showdown for the WCWS berth.

San Diego State took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run throwing error by Utah starting pitcher Mariah Lopez.

Utah scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the second — aided by an error by Aztecs starting pitcher Allie Light — to take a 3-2 lead.

San Diego State's fourth inning started with a walk to Cali Decker. Makena Brocki followed with a single and Murphy delivered her game-winning double. Murphy was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.

Light (15-6) allowed three runs — one earned — on two hits in four innings to get the win. Dee Dee Hernandez picked up her sixth save with three shutout innings.

Lopez (21-6) was tagged with the loss in going the distance. She gave up four runs — two earned — on nine hits and six walks, striking out nine.

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AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25