Augustana’s softball team picked up back-to-back wins over Texas A&M-Kingsville on Monday to claim the program’s second ever national title, forever cementing themselves as one of the program’s all-time greatest teams.
Winning a national title is every player’s dream. But when Ashley Mickschl got Roxy Chapa to ground out for the final out of the national championship, suddenly that dream turned into reality.
“I immediately started crying. I couldn’t, honestly, it’s just an overwhelming happiness. It was just so crazy, It was such an amazing experience. It’s something definitely that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” Senior Infielder Maggie Dunnett said.
Head Coach Gretta Melsted says the theme to this year’s team was its relentless pursuit. That theme was on full display Monday as Augie needed two come from behind wins, including overcoming a four-run deficit in the decisive game three.
“That was a tough series. That’s a really good team, and their pitching staff was excellent, but they just kept fighting, and fighting, and fighting, until they reached their goal,” Head Coach Gretta Melsted said.
“This was the last time we were ever going to be playing together, this team was going to be the exact same as it was yesterday. Just making sure we didn’t have any regrets,” Senior Catcher Maggie Kadrlik said.
The Vikings tied a program-record with 61 wins en route to the national title, but this team’s legacy will be defined by its selflessness.
“It’s more than the wins. It’s more than the national championship. It’s how they embraced what it means to truly be a team,” Melsted said.
As they become just the second Vikings team to win the national championship, this year’s team will be forever etched in Augustana history.
“It’s a champion, it’s not a runner-up, it’s not a participant, it’s a champion. I think that means so much,” Kadrlik said.
Augustana will host a Champions Celebration Wednesday night at 5:30 inside the Elmen Center. The event is free and open to the public.