Augustana softball season ends in heartbreaking fashion

EDMUND, O.K. (AU) – The NSIC Champion Augustana softball team saw its season come to a close Saturday after forcing the if-necessary second game but falling in that contest in eight innings, 4-3. Augustana won the first game against Central Oklahoma, 3-1, to force the second contest.

Augustana concludes its season with a 50-10 record after advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth-straight season and 28th time overall. Augustana set single-season school records for highest slugging percentage, highest on-base percentage and most home runs.

Game One: Augustana 3, Central Oklahoma 1
In a must-win situation, Delaney Young homered and Torri Chute had a two-run double to lead the Vikings to victory. While those two powered the offense, Ashley Mickschl was in cruise control in the circle, tossing a two-hit complete game giving up just the single run.

In the bottom of the second, Delaney Young sent a line-drive home run over the left-field fence for the early 1-0 lead. That home run broke the school record for the most team home runs in a single season as it was the 95th of the year.

The Bronchos knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the third as Mikayla Rutland reached the bases after being hit by a pitch and Shayla Harper tripled.

However, that was the only offense UCO would muster off Mickschl while she was waiting for the go-ahead run from her team. That came in the fifth inning when Mary Pardo and Liz Dierks had back-to-back singles. Chute then doubled into left-center scoring both baserunners for the 3-1 lead.

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Mickschl and the Vikings’ defense did the rest as she threw all seven innings, giving up two hits and two walks while striking out two for her 24th win of 2022.

Augustana recorded six hits from six different spots in the batting order. The win sealed the if-necessary game two which took place 30 minutes later.

Game Two: Central Oklahoma 4, Augustana 3, 8 innings
Much like the contest between the two squads on Friday, this one headed to extra innings. The home Bronchos would win on a single up the middle to score the runner from third base, ending Augustana’s season.

Augustana captured an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Liz Dierks crossed home plate via an error on the UCO second baseman. However, that lead was quickly brought back to even in the bottom of the first when the Bronchos scratched a run across the plate.

In the top of the second, Mary Pardo answered with a single up the middle to score Amanda Dickmeyer from third base. The Vikings’ 2-1 lead would hold until the fourth inning when the Bronchos again knotted things up, this time at 2-2.

Central Oklahoma put pressure on the Vikings in the sixth inning with a run-scoring double as the home team took the 3-2 lead.

Down to its final out in the top of the seventh, Augustana tied the game at three to extend the season. Kennedy Buckman hit a sharp single into center field which scored Bergen Lindner from second base. Lindner was pinch-running for Delaney Young who had reached base on a single.

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Tied at three, the two squads went to extra innings for the second-straight day. After the Vikings’ offense couldn’t push a run across in the top-half of the eighth, Central Oklahoma threatened and eventually won on the single.

Augustana totaled 12 hits including three from Mary Pardo and two each from Buckman and Abbie Lund. Amber Elliott and Ashley Mickschl held the UCO offense to seven hits while Elliott totaled five innings and Mickschl 2.2 innings.

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