Augie Softball Stays Alive at Region

Augie Softball Stays Alive at Region

Game 1 Recap

MANKATO, Minn. – No. 7 seed Augustana University softball (39-15) fought off elimination in the Central Region 2 Tournament with a 6-1 over No. 6 seed Pittsburg State (Kan.) on Friday afternoon in Mankato, Minnesota.

The Vikings scored early and scored in four of the first five innings, including two-run innings in the third and fourth, to put the pressure on Pittsburg State. The Gorillas finish their season at 42-19.

Augustana finished the game with 10 hits, getting two apiece from Kaylea Schorr, Christina Pickett, Abby Chandler and Maggie Dunnett.

Oliva Wolters tossed a strong game for the Vikings earning her 18th win of the season holding Pittsburg State to one run on seven hits. Wolters struck out seven batters and stranded 10 runners on base in the game.

Kaylea Schorr singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning and after some heads up base running, she came around to score the game’s first run giving the Vikings a 1-0 lead. With one out in the inning, Christina Pickett flew out deep to left field and after rounding second base, Schorr returned to first forcing a throw that went past the fielder and into the Pittsburg State dugout allowing her to move up to first base.

Two pitches later, Petersen took the second pitch she saw sharply back up the middle to give Augustana an early lead.

Pittsburg State loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the third inning and was able to tie the game at 1-1 when Nicole Nease walked in a run. Wolters got out of the inning without any further damage and the Viking offense got right to work in the bottom of the third.

Kennedy a two-out rally with her 30th double of the season and Christina Pickett jumped on the first pitch she saw cracking a double down the left field line to drive in Kennedy and put the Vikings in front 2-1. The inning appeared to be over when Petersen popped the ball up in the  middle of the infield but two PSU players collided and the ball fell to the ground allowing Pickett to score from second giving Augustana a 3-1 lead.

Augustana added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to extend its lead to 5-1. Abby Chandler started the inning with a single to right before moving up to second on a groundout by Kara McDougall. Maggie Dunnett then singled and alertly moved up to second to put runners on second and third with one out. Samantha Eisenreich grounded out to second to drive in Chandler and Schorr picked up her second hit of the game to drive in Dunnett putt the Vikings in front by four.

The Vikings continued to put the Gorillas away getting a two-out run in the bottom of the fifth to their lead to 6-1. Pickett led off the inning with a single and moved up to second on an illegal pitch. Pickett advanced to third on a ground out by Kylie Rome and Chandler beat out an infield single, for her second hit of the game, driving in Pickett putting the Vikings up five in the fifth.

Pittsburg State left four runners on base in the final two innings as Wolters was able to bend but not break with a strong defense behind her.

Game 2 Recap

MANKATO, Minn. – No. 7 seed Augustana University softball fought-off elimination in the Central Region 2 Tournament for the second straight game using a four-run bottom of the fourth inning to earn a 4-0 win over No. 3 seed Central Oklahoma (48-11).

With the win, Augustana advances to the Central Region 2 Tournament Championship game and will play No. 2 seed and host Minnesota State, Mankato at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Augustana improved to 40-15 on the season, marking the 19th season in program history with 40-plus wins, including the sixth under the direction of 11th-year head coach Gretta Melsted.

Lexy Pederson and Olivia Wolters combined for the shutout win for the Vikings holding the Bronchos scoreless on four this. Pederson started the game and allowed just three hits in five innings of work to earn her 20th win of the year. Wolters allowed just one hit over two innings with one strikeout.

Sarah Kennedy tied the NCAA Division II single season record with her 31st double of the season in the win. Kennedy tied the record set by West Virginia State’s Brittany Hyatt who hit 31 doubles in 2012. The NCAA record for doubles in a single season is held by Kim Sears of Wheaton (Ma.) (Division III) who hit 33 in 1998.

Kaylea Schorr was 2 for 4 at the plate with a pair of singles while Maggie Dunnett was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI. Kara McDougall finished 2 for 3 with an RBI at the plate as well for the Vikings.

Dunnett picked up a one out single in the top of the third inning and the Vikings put together a threat when Kaylea Schorr singled down the right field line with two outs to put runners on the corners with two outs to bring Kennedy to the plate. Kennedy bounced out to the pitcher on the first pitch she saw and Peyton Walker worked herself out of the jam to keep the game scoreless.

The Vikings and Bronchos were locked into a pitcher’s duel through the first three innings before the Viking offense used some small ball to break the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth.

Augustana strung together six hits in the top of the fourth inning, including five straight singles, to open up a 4-0 lead. Christina Pickett and Shannon Petersen started the inning with back-to-back singles and Kylie Rome made it three straight with a sharp single past a diving shortstop to drive in the game’s first run.

Abby Chandler loaded the bases with an infield single and Kara McDougall did the same, driving in a run with an infield single, putting Augustana in front 2-0. Dunnett stepped to the plate and lined a double off the fence in center field to drive in a pair and put the Vikings up 4-0. McDougall was thrown out at home on the play and Dunnett advanced to third on the throw. Samantha Eisenreich and Schorr both flew out to left to end the inning but the Vikings benefitted from a big inning to grab a four-run lead.

Central Oklahoma put runners on in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings but the Viking pitching staff and defense kept coming up big to hold the Bronchos off the scoreboard.

Wolters entered the game in the bottom of the sixth and surrendered a two-out single but got out of the inning without any damage before setting UCO down in order in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win for the Vikings.

Augustana will play Minnesota State, Makato in the Central Region 2 Tournament Championship game at 11 a.m. in Mankato. The Vikings will have to win twice to advance to the NCAA Central Super Regional.

Categories: College Sports, Colleges – Augustana, Sports, Sports Top Story

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