SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AUGUSTANAN) – Augustana softball moved into sole possession of first place in the NSIC with a sweep of Bemidji State Monday. The Vikings topped the Beavers 11-2 and 5-0 in the doubleheader to push their win streak to 10 games.
Augustana is now 32-11 on the season and 19-3 in the NSIC. Bemidji State is 19-21, 8-10. The Vikings’ wins, coupled with a Minnesota Duluth loss, give Augustana a full-game lead in the NSIC.
Game One: Augustana 11, Bemidji State 2
This could be considered the Kennedy Buckman game. The Vikings’ second baseman went 3-for-3 with three home runs and eight RBI.
In the second inning with Torri Chute on second base, Delaney Young smacked a double to center field to make it 1-0 AU. That is when Buckman stepped to the plate and homered into left field for her first home run of the day.
Bemidji State got two runs back in the top of the fourth but that set the stage for a four-run fourth inning. Torri Chute got the scoring started with a home run down the left-field line. After Delaney Young reached base on a single through the left side, Buckman powered her second home run of the game over the left-center fence for the 6-2 lead.
The final run of the bottom of the fourth came courtesy of an Andrea Cain triple into center field. That scored Liz Dierks who reached base on a single down the left-field line.
Needing just three runs to end the game via run-rule in the fifth inning, Kennedy Buckman stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. She took a 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall to score Ashton Dorman, Bergen Lindner and Young to complete her perfect game at the plate.
The grand slam also made the score 11-2 giving AU its sixth-straight run-rule win.
Hailey Houston collected her 16th win in the circle as she tossed a five-inning two-hitter while striking out four.
Of Augustana’s nine hits, three were from the bat of Buckman and two each from Chute and Young.
Game Two: Augustana 5, Bemidji State 0
Augustana’s offense scored three runs in the first and two in the fifth while Lexi Lander allowed just four hits in the circle as part of Augustana’s 10th-straight win.
The game started with a bang by Andrea Cain as she hit a lead-off home run to right-center. Three batters later, it was 3-0 Augustana thanks to a home run off the bat of Torri Chute. She also scored Abby Lien who worked a walk to reach first base.
Augustana’s fifth inning consisted of a Delaney Young single down the left-field line to score Chute. She was followed by a Buckman single which scored Young for the 5-0 win.
The Vikings racked up nine hits in the contest with three from Chute, the NSIC leader in average in conference games at .540.
Lander pitched the complete-game shutout to pick up her 13th win of the season. The shutout is the third of the year.
Up Next: Augustana plays host to Southwest Minnesota State in the regular season home finale on Wednesday. The doubleheader begins at 2 p.m.