BRONX, N.Y. - A four-run fifth helped lift the Saint Joseph's softball team past La Salle, 7-4, Wednesday afternoon at the Atlantic 10 Championship at Bahoshy Field. The third-seeded Hawks advance to face second seed Saint Louis at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Left fielder Melissa Ruf led the SJU offense, going 3-for-3 with a RBI and pair of runs scored, while sophomore pitcher Anna Lauterbach improved to 5-2, going 4.2 innings in relief and allowing two runs, while striking out three.

The Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a single to the gap in right center by Sarah Yoos that allowed Ruf to score all the way from first.

La Salle struck back to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the third on a two-run home run by Megan Hodgson off SJU starter Niki Carillo.

The Explorers expanded their lead to 3-1 in the fourth on a RBI single by Emily Moran.

Saint Joseph's would answer back in the bottom of the inning as pinch runner Traneya White scored from third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of first baseman Ashley Alden.

La Salle added to its lead with a run on the top of the fifth on a RBI single by Christina Bascara.

A bloop single by Melissa Ruf scored pinch runner Kerrie Kortmann to bring the Hawks within one, 4-3. Following an intentional walk to Yoos, designated player Brandi Harkness came through with a bases-loaded single to center that scored Ficca. Shortstop Nicole Palase followed with single up the middle, allowing Ruf to score and put Saint Joseph's ahead 5-4.

A ground out to second base off the bat of Alden allowed Yoos to score from third to push the lead to 6-4.

Center fielder Maria Ficca would give the Hawks an insurance run in the sixth as she scored from second on a throwing error by the La Salle left fielder on a single by Ruf.

The Hawks' Alden would start a double-play to cap the victory in the seventh as they improved to 21-18 overall.

At the plate, Alden added a pair of RBI, while Ficca scored twice. Carillo finished the game going 2.1 inning of work, allowing two runs on four hits.