All-Pac-12 pitcher Mariah Lopez matched her season high with 10 strikeouts and the Utah Utes employed some small-ball tactics Saturday afternoon to advance to the Salt Lake City Regional finals in the NCAA Division I Softball Tournament.

The Utes got a dominating performance, after a shaky start, from Lopez and contributions up and down their lineup for the second-straight day to rout Ole Miss 7-1 at Dumke Family Softball Stadium in front of 2,414 sun-splashed fans.

“Yeah, obviously there were some first-inning jitters. Early in the game I was a little nervous, feeling those emotions, and then I just kinda just talked with my pitching coach and she was like, ‘we are winning. … So pitch with the lead. There is nothing to be nervous about, pitch to anybody.’” — Utah pitcher Mariah Lopez

Utah improved to 39-13, the program’s most wins in coach Amy Hogue’s era, and will face either Ole Miss, Southern Illinois or Baylor in the finals round Sunday at noon in the double-elimination affair.

Ole Miss dropped to 31-26 and was scheduled to play the winner of the Southern Illinois-Baylor game later Saturday in an elimination game.

Lopez, a junior from Tucson, Arizona, who played her senior season of high school softball in the Phoenix area, went all seven innings Saturday to pick up her 20th win of the season, against five losses. She was a bit wild early, walking two hitters and hitting two more with pitches in the first two innings, then settled down and showed the form that has earned her a place in Utah softball lore in her third season in Salt Lake City.

“Yeah, obviously there were some first-inning jitters,” Lopez said in the postgame news conference. “Early in the game I was a little nervous, feeling those emotions, and then I just kinda just talked with my pitching coach and she was like, ‘we are winning. … So pitch with the lead. There is nothing to be nervous about, pitch to anybody.’”

Lead-off hitter Aliya Belarde went 2 for 4 with a double and drove in two runs off the Utes; No. 9 hitter Shelbi Ortiz also drove in two runs. Haley Denning went 3 for 4, while Ellessa Bonstrom and Sophie Jacquez also recorded two hits apiece and drove in runs.

Bonstrom, a graduate student, became Utah’s all-time leader in RBIs. No. 8 hitter Kendall Lundberg, the only Ute who did not register a hit against the Salukis on Friday, went 1 for 2 and drove in a run.

Lopez allowed just six hits and stranded seven base-runners, time and again shutting down Ole Miss rallies with timely strikeouts.

That was especially true early, as Ole Miss loaded the bases in the first without getting a hit. Lopez struck out Keila Kamoku to get out of the inning unscathed.

Utah got hits from Bonstrom and Jacquez in the first inning, but failed to score.

The Utes took the lead in the second inning when Ortiz drove in Abby Dayton, who had walked.

Ole Miss put two runners aboard in the second, but Lopez got Tate Whitley to fly out to left to end the uprising.

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Kamoku tripled home Paige Smith in the third to knot the score at 1-1, but in a strange play the sophomore from Hawaii was called out at third after she was tagged while off the bag after she had signaled for a timeout, but was not awarded one.

The Rebels never really threatened again. Kamoku’s triple to the left-center wall was really the only hard-hit ball given up by Lopez the entire game. She now has 179 career strikeouts.

The Utes took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on a pair of sacrifice flies by Lundberg and Ortiz, scoring Dayton and Denning.

Utah put it away in the sixth, scoring four runs after Denning’s leadoff single. Belarde’s two-run double plated pinch-runner Jordyn Gasper and Denning.

Bonstrom’s triple brought Belarde home, and Jacquez’s sacrifice fly scored Bonstrom to complete Utah’s scoring.