Augustana softball claims NSIC Tournament title
ROCHESTER, MN (Dakota News Now) - With a second inning explosion, Augustana secured a 13-0 win over Winona State. The Vikings claim their back-to-back tournament titles and their third in program history.
Augustana, 47-8 on the year, earns an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament and will find out their next opponent in the NCAA central region tournament on Monday, at the NCAA selection show (10 a.m.). In the final regional rankings, Augustana was No. 4, behind Minnesota State Mankato (No. 3), Rogers State (No. 2) and Central Oklahoma (No. 1). The top two seeds host the central region tournament.
The Vikings got things going early Saturday afternoon and didn’t look back. Five members of the Vikings earned all-tournament honors: Mary Pardo, Ashley Mickschl, Amber Elliott, Abby Lien and Kennedy Buckman
The Vikings got on the board in the first frame. Liz Dierks quickly singled to left, setting up Lien to send a long ball to left center to put Augustana up 2-0.
In the second inning, the Vikings would take commanding control of the game, as eight runs would cross the plate. Buckman singled up the middle, scoring Gracey Brink, who doubled in an earlier at bat.
The Warriors would walk Pardo advancing Abbie Lund to second and Amanda Dickmeyer to third. Taylor Bross pinch hit for the Vikings and hit a single, scoring Lund and Dickmeyer to make it a six to nothing ballgame.
The next at bat Lien would single to right, scoring Pardo. Dierks would score to take the lead to 8-0 on a Chute flyout. Young would step to the plate and crush a triple to bring home Becca Koupal, who pinch ran for Lien. Young would be the last run to cross the plate in the inning on a Buckman pop-out. The 10-0 score at the bottom of the second would continue to grow in the third.
Pardo would reach base on a fielder’s choice followed by a Dierks single. Lien would load the bases for the Vikings after being hit by a pitch. During the next at bat, Chute would hit a bases-clearing double to end the scoring for the afternoon.
Elliott, who went four innings for the Vikings, picked up five strikeouts and allowed just one hit. In the top of the fifth, Olivia Hazelbaker and the Viking defense secured the final three outs to end the game in the fifth inning.
Chute would drive in a game-high 4 RBIs for the AU followed by Lund, who went three-for-three with three RBIs. Bross and Buckman would drive in two runs apiece.
Recap courtesy of Augustana Athletics.
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