SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The Augustana softball team’s dramatic game two win over top-ranked Central Oklahoma propelled the Vikings to a Super Regional sweep of the Bronchos, sending Augie to the College World Series for the first time since 2012.
Augustana saw its four-run lead over Central Oklahoma quickly turn into a one-run deficit after the Bronchos rallied for five runs in the sixth inning. The Vikings tied the game at six in the bottom of the seventh, before Samantha Eisenreich sent Augie to the College World Series in walk-off fashion.
“I get goosebumps thinking about it. If it wasn’t for those two leadoff walks. If it wasn’t for Shannon getting that base hit, I wouldn’t have been put in that situation. So I’m super thankful that my teammates were able to get me to be in that situation. But, I kind of just froze on that base, like did that just happen,” Augustana Senior Samantha Eisenreich said.
Eisenreich’s RBI single turned the Vikings’ dream into reality.
“There’s no words to describe it. You’re just kind of cloud nine. You’re in awe. It just keeps coming in waves. You’re like, holy cow you’re really doing this, you’re packing for a World Series right now. Get these tests done, let’s go play some softball, live your childhood dream,” Senior Catcher Maggie Kadrlik said.
Augustana is making its first World Series appearance in seven years, but head coach Gretta Melsted says this year’s team shares several similarities with the 2012 squad with its depth in the circle and at the plate, but may be even more talented.
“This team has way more speed, and we’re super athletic. We have a little bit of everything. We’re excited to go to Denver, and see what happens,” Augustana Head Coach Gretta Melsted said.
Augie enters the national championships as the three-seed and will play U-C San Diego in the opening round. As they make their way to Denver, the Vikings refuse to let their opponent dictate their approach.
“Don’t let the moment get too big, and just stay grounded, and stay who we are. That’s going to be the key for us,” Melsted said.
Augustana will face U-C San Diego Thursday night in Denver. First pitch is set for 7:30.