FAYETTE, Iowa – Jenelle Trautmann's two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh inning led Augustana softball to a 6-5 win over Upper Iowa in game one and the Peacocks used a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh of game two to win the nightcap 1-0. The Vikings are now 36-11 on the season, including 19-7 in the NSIC while Upper Iowa sits at 16-26, 9-13 NSIC.
Caitlin Nichol scored the winning run in the game after leading off the top of the seventh with a single. She finished the game going 2 for4 with a home run as her three-run blast in the top of the second inning gave the Vikings an early five run lead.
Each team had eight hits in the contest but Upper Iowa left 10 runners on in the game. Trautmann finished 2 for 4 on the day with two singles and two RBI.
Carley Pickett earned the win in the circle for the Vikings coming into the game in the fourth inning in relief of Trautmann. Pickett finished with two strikeouts, including a big one with two runners on and one out in the bottom of the seventh, while allowing one run on two hits.
The Vikings started the scoring in the top of the first inning going in front 1-0 after some two-out hitting. Sarah Kennedy beat out an infield single to start the rally before Trautmann drove her in with a single before getting thrown out at second base trying to stretch it to a double.
The Peacocks pushed an unearned run across in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at 1-1 but the Vikings broke through for four runs on three hits in the top of the second to go in front 5-1.
Lindsay Spanton was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning before Carly Peterson reached on an error to put runners on first and second. After Jordan Schaffer popped out to the shortstop, Erin Kempf drove in the first run of the inning with a single up the middle giving Augustana a 2-1 lead. Maddie Merriam then reached on a fielder's choice setting up Nichol with runners on first and second and she blasted her eighth home run of the season to give the Vikings a four run lead.
Upper Iowa made it a 5-2 game right away in the bottom of the second inning getting back-to-back two-out hits. The Peacocks put up two more runs in the bottom of the third to get within one run at 5-4.
Upper Iowa continued to chip away and tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Lauren Marlinghaus walked with the bases loaded to drive in a run and knot the game up once again.
Augustana and Upper Iowa then played two innings of scoreless softball before the Vikings pushed a run across in the top of the seventh to go in front 6-5. The Peacocks would not go away quietly though after two runners reached on errors in the bottom of the seventh. Pickett was able to get out of the jam getting and a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.
Upper Iowa came out on top of a pitcher's duel in game two as Lauren Marlinghaus delivered a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Peacocks a 1-0 win in the nightcap. The two teams combined for just nine hits in game two and the Vikings left nine runners on base in the loss.
Kennedy picked up two hits for the Vikings going 2 for 4 with two singles. Marlinghaus led the Peacocks at the plate going 2 for 3 with the lone run-scoring hit on the solo home run in the seventh.
Brooke Redmond kept the Vikings' bats at bay on the afternoon picking up her 12th win while fanning seven batters. Pickett (12-5) was tagged with the loss for the Vikings after allowing just the one run on four hits while striking out six.
Augustana left at least one runner on in six of the seven innings of the game. In the top of the second inning, Peterson doubled to left center and Schaffer was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out but Redmond got a foul out and a strikeout to end the threat.
The Vikings got a leadoff single from Nichol in the top of the third inning but was unable to get her past second base after a sacrifice bunt by Mackenzie Alstott.
Upper Iowa went down in order in the third fourth and fifth innings, but the Vikings did the same in the top half of the fourth and fifth innings and were unable to take advantage.
Kennedy got her second single of the game to lead off the sixth inning and advanced to second on an error. After moving up to third on a sacrifice bunt by Trautmann, Kennedy was stranded on third as Redmond got another strikeout and a foul out to end the inning.
Pickett pitched around a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Vikings put together yet another threat in the top half of the seventh. Schaffer led off the inning with an infield single and after two outs were recorded, Nichol and Alstott were hit by a pitch to load the bases but Redmond got Kennedy to pop out to short to end the inning.
The Peacocks got a big hit in the home half of the seventh as Marlinghaus gave her team the 1-0 victory with a walk-off home run.
Augustana will play its final regular season games this weekend when they travel to North Dakota for a pair of doubleheaders. The Vikings begin the trip at Minot State on Saturday, April 26, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Augustana will then take on the University of Mary at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
Courtesy: Augustana Tim Evans