EDMOND, Okla. – An Abby Lien homerun was the difference in Augustana softball’s 1-0 win to open NCAA Tournament action Thursday. Ashley Mickschl held Arkansas Tech to just one hit in the performance as the Vikings advance to Friday’s semifinal contest in the winner’s bracket of the NCAA Central Regional taking place in Edmond, Oklahoma.
 
Augustana, the NSIC regular season and tournament champion, moves to 48-8 on the season. Arkansas Tech, the GAC regular season and tournament champion, falls to 39-18 on the year.
 
Lien belted a first-inning home run that landed well-beyond the left-field fence. Her 16th home run of 2022 landed in the third row of the parking lot beyond the fence and proved to be the only offense either team would muster all game.
 
Mickschl was masterful, allowing just a single hit and a single walk for the complete-game shutout victory. The win was her 22nd of the year in the circle.
 
The second inning featured a stretching Amanda Dickmeyer to steal a hit from the Golden Suns to keep the shutout intact.

Augustana totaled four hits in the game, one each from Lien, Dickmeyer, Torri Chute and Abbie Lund.

The Vikings, the third-seed in the region, face the host team and No. 2 seed Central Oklahoma Bronchos in the winner’s bracket semifinals Friday at 1 p.m.

The winner of that game moves to the region pod championship contest slated for Saturday at 1 p.m. The loser of Friday’s game will play again Friday at 6 p.m.