EDMOND, Okla. (AUGUSTANA) – NCAA Division II Regional Champions. The Augustana softball team routed Minnesota State 7-0 Saturday in the Central Region Championship Game in Edmond, Oklahoma. The Vikings leave the double-elimination tournament 3-0 and advance to the championship site in Denver, Colorado.
Augustana, the defending national champions, moves to 47-6 on the season. Minnesota State’s season ends at 40-10.
The Vikings, ranked first in the nation and seeded first in the region, jumped all over their NSIC opponents in the first inning, racking up six hits in the opening frame. Mary Pardo set the tone as she beat out a throw from the shortstop for an infield single. Kendall Cornick then worked a five-pitch walk to place runners on first and second. Gracey Brink followed with the first of three triples in the inning as she scored both Pardo and Cornick.
Having watched Brink shoot a triple into center field, Torri Chute hit her own RBI triple, this time into right-center for the 3-0 lead.
Abby Lien then earned first base after being hit by a pitch as Delaney Young pushed her to second base on a fielder’s choice.
The crooked number in the first inning continued as Lien scored on a single from Ashley Mickschl for the 4-0 advantage.
Amanda Dickmeyer then loaded the bases as she hit a slow dribbler to the shortstop and was so quick down the line, a throw was never made.
With the bases loaded, Abbie Lund hit the third triple of the inning for AU as she slapped the ball down the right-field line, clearing the bases for the 7-0 lead.
The Vikings’ hitters forced MSU to change its pitcher twice in the inning.
From there, it was cruise control for Ashley Mickschl as allowed just three hits and walked one to total four base runners the entire game. She struck out four Maverick hitters in her nation’s leading 26th win in the circle.
Augustana totaled eight hits on the day, with a 2-for-3 day each from Chute and Dickmeyer. The other four hits came from Pardo, Brink, Mickschl and Lund.
The three triples in a game tie a school record which has now happened four times.
Augustana moves to the NCAA Division II Championship site in Denver, Colorado, beginning Thursday, May 27. The championship game is slated for Monday, May 31.