No. 6 seed Augustana saw its season come to an end in a 4-3 loss to second-seeded Southeastern Oklahoma State University in the Central Region 2 Tournament in Mankato, Minn. on Saturday.
The Vikings finish the season 35-16, making their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the 21st appearance in school history.
Southeastern Oklahoma State scored a run in each of the first three innings to grab an early lead. The Storm got on the board in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Courtney Riddle to score Jessica Simmons. Simmons started the inning by getting on base on a throwing error, allowing her to move up to second base. After a sac bunt, Simmons scored on Riddle’s groundout.
Whitney Hamilton doubled to lead off the bottom of the second inning for the Storm, before being lifted for a pinch-runner. Two sacrifice bunts later, Kaija Morris, who pinch ran for Hamilton, came around to score to make it a 2-0 game.
Southeastern Oklahoma State added a run in the third inning on an Augustana error to take a 3-0 lead. The Vikings answered in the fourth inning, scoring two runs on a hit to make it a 3-2 game. Chelsi Winskowski singled to start off the inning but was erased at second on a fielder’s choice by Carley Pickett. Carly Peterson then reached on a fielding error and Theresa McMahon walked to load the bases for Jenny Brown.
Brown reached on a fielder’s choice to third base, but Peterson and Pickett scored on the play as the Storm pitcher threw the ball wild to home in attempt to force out Peterson. Jenelle Trautmann would later walk with two outs, but Jordan Schaffer, who pinch hit for Emily Heinz, struck out swinging and the Vikings would leave the bases loaded trailing 3-2.
Pickett, who tossed all six innings for the Vikings would hold the Storm off the board in the fourth and fifth innings to keep her team in the game. Pickett allowed all four runs in the game, only two earned, striking out a batter and forcing 10 ground ball outs.
Southeastern Oklahoma State scored a run in the sixth inning to go in front 4-2 heading into the seventh inning. The Storm had runners on first and third when Lauren Renneker got in a rundown between first and second for the final out of the inning, but Shayna Milam was able to score from third on the play to give Southeastern Oklahoma State a two run cushion.
The Vikings would not go down quietly as they quickly loaded the bases in the seventh inning. Lindsay Spanton was hit by a pitch to start the inning and was followed Trautmann walk and a Heinz single to load the bases.
Erin Kempf drove in a run on a groundout to second base to make it a 4-3 game with runners on second and third and one out. Winskowski popped out to third base before Pickett popped out to second ending the Vikings’ chances of moving on in the regional tournament.
Augustana finishes the season at 35-16, including 17-9 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, which was good for a sixth-place finish in the final league standings.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Sports Information Director, Augustana College