WAYNE, NE (AUGIE) – The Augustana softball team opened NSIC action with a sweep of Wayne State Tuesday afternoon. The Vikings won by scores of 7-2 and 8-3 while Andrea Cain belted three home runs on the day to lead AU offensively.
Augustana, the two-time reigning NSIC Champion, improves to 15-8 on the season and 2-0 in the NSIC. Wayne State falls to 5-20, 0-2.
Game One: Augustana 7, Wayne State 2
The reigning NSIC Pitcher of the Week, Hailey Houston, earned her seventh win of the season by pitching six innings and allowing just four hits, one walk and striking out four.
The offense got its jump start on a single from Sydney Herbert to score Torri Chute in the second inning. The next batter, Liz Dierks, doubled in Kennedy Buckman and Herbert as AU held a 3-0 lead at the end of the second frame.
In the third inning, Abby Lien was brought home on a double by Delaney Young while Chute and Young each scored thanks to Kennedy Buckman and Nicole Bellis.
With Augustana leading 6-0 in the sixth, Andrea Cain knocked a home run over the fence in right-center field for the commanding 7-0 lead.
Despite WSC plating two runs in the seventh, the Vikings were on cruise control throughout the victory. Of the 11 hits, Chute and Herbert each recorded two. The remaining seven hits came from seven different sports in AU’s batting order.
Game Two: Augustana 8, Wayne State 3
Andrea Cain, the reigning NSIC Player of the Week, set the tone early in this one. In fact, it was the third pitch of the game that she sent sailing over the left-center field fence. Gracey Brink, Augustana’s No. 2 hitter, worked a walk and moved to second on Abby Lien’s at-bat. On back-to-back wild pitches, she then found herself crossing home plate to give Augustana the 2-0 lead after just a half inning.
That score held until the bottom of the fourth inning when Wayne State picked up just its second hit of the game, however a significant one, a three-run home run.
The Wildcats’ 3-2 lead did not last long as Cain’s second home run of the game, just a half inning later, knotted the game back up at 3-3.
Augustana then saw the offense spark to life in the top of the sixth inning with Bergen Lindner sending a sharp single up the middle to score Delaney Young. Liz Dierks then picked up an RBI groundout to make it 5-3 as she was able to plate Kennedy Buckman.
The offense added three more runs in the top of the seventh inning as Young, Buckman and Sydney Herbert each recorded RBI plate appearances for the final 8-3 score.
Augustana totaled 10 hits in the game with two each from Cain, Lindner and Herbert. Lexi Lander pitched the complete game shutout with seven strikeouts and allowed just four hits. She earned her sixth win in the circle in 2023.
Up Next The long-awaited opening of the new Bowden Field takes place Saturday as Augustana plays host to Concordia-St. Paul with a noon first pitch. On Sunday, Augustana plays host to Minnesota State with a noon first pitch.