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Taking A Look At Augustana Softball's Run To The College World Series

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Emotions were running pretty high yesterday at Bowden field. The Augustana softball team needed to win just one of possibly two games against Concordia-St. Paul to make it to their first college world series since 1998. In the back of the Vikings' minds were the memories of the collapse they went through last year in the same situation. And all the while, head coach Gretta Melsted was pursuing her 300th win. The excitement was seemingly endless.

The Augustana Vikings had their backs to the wall early yesterday as they fought to close out the super regional series against Concordia-St. Paul. A two-RBI single from Missie Feuerbach gave the Golden Bears a two-nothing lead in the first inning. Augie wasn't detered though.

"Coming in, being down 2-nothing right away there was no doubt in my mind that we would come back." Catcher Elizabeth Murray said, "Our sticks are so strong, one through nine."

And they made that fact known. Taylor Kapsch rocked a solo home run in the third to cut the lead to one and in the fourth Augie unloaded with an eight run inning. By the fifth, the Vikings had a 10-2 lead as Chelsey Durland got the final Golden Bear batter to ground out.

Thanks to the 8-run-rule victory, Augustana was going to the College World Series. Head Coach Gretta Melsted, who reached the 300 win mark with the victory, couldn't help but think back, as she looked forward to the Vikings first trip to the eight-team tourney since 1998.

"Having kids who have been with me for four years and who have been through that process of going from a team that, you know we weren't very good six years ago, to where we're at now. It means a lot." Melsted said.

The players did the same.

"Our freshman year," Infielder Kelsey Kalkman said, "All of us seniors, she sat us down on a curb and she said after we were 0-11 that someday we would make it here and we finally are."

"It's been a long four years," Outfielder Taylor Kapsch said, "It's a long haul, and it's finally paying off."

Augustana's not done yet though. They'll kick off the college world series Wednesday Morning in Louisville, Kentucky with a 10am tilt against Kutztown. And they think they have what it takes to win the program's first national championship since 1991.

"We have so much heart and dedication," Murray said, "We put so much into it. We're ready to let everyone know who the Augustana softball team is. We're gonna come in strong just like we always do."

"It takes great pitching, it takes great defense, great and timely hitting, and a little bit of luck." Melsted said, "That's what you have to have at this time of year. But we're right there and it can be anybody's game."

The championship is a double elimination format tourney with the title game scheduled for Saturday. KDLT will have continuous coverage throughout the week.

Follow KDLT Sports at @KDLTSports and KDLT Weekend Sports Anchor Kolbe Nelson at @KolbeNelson for opinions, links, and updates on Twitter. And don't forget to check out the KDLT Sports Facebook Page
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