Melsted Wins 500th, Augie Sweeps USF

Melsted Wins 500th, Augie Sweeps USF

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Augustana head coach Gretta Melsted won her 500th career game with a sweep over the University of Sioux Falls (26-25, 13-13 NSIC) in NSIC action on Thursday afternoon. The Vikings (35-11, 20-4 NSIC) won the opener 12-4 in five innings to give Melsted win No. 500 before winning game two 7-1.

Melsted owns a career record of 501-281, including 420-190 in 11 seasons at Augustana. With the win, Augustana gained a full point towards its total in the First Dakota National Bank Mayor’s Cup Challenge. The Vikings currently hold a 10-4 lead over USF in the Mayor’s Cup Challenge. For more information on the First Dakota National Bank Mayor’s Cup Challenge, visit SFMayorscup.com.

Game one
Augustana jumped out to a big lead and never looked back earning a 12-4 win in five innings over Sioux Falls in the opener. The Vikings combined for five runs in the first two innings before putting up a five-spot in the third to take a 10-0 lead.

Christina Pickett led the Vikings at the plate finishing 3 for 4 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Sarah Kennedy added a pair of hits, including a base-clearing three-RBI double in the third inning.

Shannon Petersen hit her 11th home run of the season with a two-run shot in the bottom of the first.

Lexy Pederson (18-4) went the distance in game one to earn her 18th win of the season. Pederson struck out two and held the Cougars to four runs on four hits.

Pederson held the Cougars hitless through the first two innings and the Vikings jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to a pair of two-run home runs. Pickett started a two-out rally with a single in the bottom of the first and Petersen stepped to the plate and hit a towering home run to left to put the Vikings in front 2-0.

The Vikings went to work with two outs in the second inning as well getting a two-out walk from Kaylea Schorr followed by a single from Kennedy. Schorr came around to score on Kennedy’s single after a throwing error by USF and Pickett came up big once again, taking a 1-0 pitch deep to left field putting Augustana in front 5-0.

USF picked up its first hit of the game in the third getting a two-out single but Pederson slammed the door shut. The Viking offense responded with a five-run bottom of the third to give Pederson a comfortable 10-0 lead. Augustana loaded the bases after plating its first run of the inning. Schorr was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in another run and Kennedy delivered a three-RBI double, her 27th double of the season, putting the Vikings in front by 10.

After a clean top of the fourth inning by Pederson, the Cougars were able to put up four runs on three hits and three Augustana errors in the fifth to make the score 10-4. The Vikings responded in the home-half of the fifth getting a two-RBI double by Pickett to give the Vikings a 12-4 win by the eight-run rule in the fifth.

Game two
Augustana used a four-run bottom of the first inning to jump on USF early. The Vikings got a strong effort from freshman right-hander Olivia Wolters to pick up the sweep over the Cougars with a 7-1 win in game two.

Wolters struck out seven batters to improve to 15-6 on the season with the victory. She got some help from the offense as the Vikings finished with nine hits, led by Kennedy and Petersen who each picked up a pair.

Kennedy was 2 for 4 with a double and Petersen finished 2 for 3 with her 12th home run of the season.

Schorr led off game two with a single up the middle and Kennedy wasted no time getting her NCAA-leading 28th double of the season to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out. Petersen singled to load the bases and Schorr came around to score on a USF error to make it 1-0. Abby Chandler drove Kennedy in to give the Vikings a 2-0 lead and Maggie Dunnett later delivered a two-out, two-RBI single giving Augustana a four-run lead.

The Cougars got on the board in the top of the fourth scoring a run on three hits to make it a 4-1 game. Augustana answered right back in the bottom of the fourth, striking once again with two outs in the inning.

Kennedy started the two-out rally with a single to center and Pickett followed with a single through the left side of the infield. Petersen jumped on the first pitch she saw and belted her second home run of the afternoon, and 12th of the season, a three-run shot that gave Augustana a 7-1 lead.

There were just two hits in the remainder of the game, with USF stringing together a pair in the top of the sixth, and the Vikings early lead would be enough for the sweep.

Augustana returns to action Friday afternoon taking on Minnesota Duluth in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. at Bowden Field.

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