The Swede birdied the second and ninth holes and eagled the 11th with a 38-yard chip-in. She finished with a 2-under 214 total.
Sorenstam was still hoping to mount a challenge after two rounds of 72, but dropped shots at the 13th and 17th holes. She also left a 10-foot birdie putt at the 18th just inches short of the hole.
After the 11th, I was hoping to get to 5 or 6 under and still have a chance, she said.
But she could not convert a birdie opportunity at the 12th after a fine approach, and then she hit her 5-iron into the front bunker, which led to the bogey on the 13th.
After three straight pars, she hit a perfect drive at the downhill 17th before pulling her approach into a greenside bunker. Her chip rolled down the slope 12 feet past the flag, and she missed the putt for par.
Today was a little better, more regular golf, she said. I missed a few shots here and there but I kept going, and when you hole a shot like that on the 11th, it keeps the momentum going.
Sorenstam, who announced in May that she would retire after this year, is hoping her last day in a major will give her the sort of finish she wants.
I want to have a good final round, she said. What was really special was coming down the last eight with that great support. Teeing up so early compared with leaders, we still had a huge crowd and it was very special coming up 18. I hope it will be like that tomorrow.
Sorenstam had complained after her first two rounds about the shots she was throwing away in almost every round and said she and her caddy had analyzed her recent problems without coming to any conclusions.
I dont know why (there have been problems), she said. Im here, Im enjoying myself, Im focused on my game. I havent changed anything. My routines are the same; I have the same coach and caddy.
Sorenstam will marry in January and plans to start a family while concentrating on various golf and business commitments. But she said she had been approached about being a captain of Europes Solheim Cup team.
Im not going to play next year but I have been asked about being a captain and I said Id be honored if asked, she said. Its a tremendous honor.