Augustana’s softball season ends in a heartbreaking way

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EDMUND, OK (AU) – Champion softball team NSIC Augustana ended its season on Saturday having forced a second game if necessary but lost the match in eight innings, 4-3. Augustana won the first game against Central Oklahoma, 3-1, to force a second contest.

Augustana ended her season on a 5-10 record after advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth season in a row and the 28th time overall. Augustana set a one-season school record for highest slugging percentage, highest on-base percentage, and most home runs.

Game One: Augustana 3, Central Oklahoma 1
In a must-win situation, Delaney Young hosted and Torri Chute scored twice to lead the Vikings to victory. While the two were bolstering the attack, Ashley Mickschl was on cruise control in the circle, throwing a complete game of two strokes giving up just one turn.

In the bottom half of the second quarter, Delaney Young sent a home run line-drive over the left-hand fence for an early 1-0 lead. The home run broke the school record for most team home runs in a season as it was the 95th this year.

The Bronchos leveled at 1-1 at the top of the third quarter as Mikayla Rutland hit base after a throw and Shayla Harper tripled.

However, that was the only foul that UCO committed against Mickschl as he waited for the green light from his team. It was in the fifth inning when Mary Pardo and Liz Dierks had back-to-back singles. Chute then doubled down center-left to score both baserunners for a 3-1 lead.

Mickschl and the Viking defense did the rest as he threw in all seven innings, hitting two hits and two runs while striking two for his 24th win of 2022.

Augustana recorded six strokes from six different places in the stroke order. The win sealed a second game if necessary, which took place 30 minutes later.

Game Two: Central Oklahoma 4, Augustana 3, 8 innings
Just like the match between the two teams on Friday, this match is headed for extra innings. The host Bronchos would win by singles in the middle to score the runners-up from third base, ending Augustana’s season.

Augustana took a 1-0 lead early in the first half as Liz Dierks crossed home plate through an error at UCO second baseman. However, that lead was quickly brought back even at the bottom of the first as the Bronchos raced across the plate.

In the second quarter, Mary Pardo hit back with a shot in the middle to score Amanda Dickmeyer from third base. The Vikings’ 2-1 lead lasted into the fourth inning when the Bronchos leveled again, this time 2-2.

Central Oklahoma put the pressure on the Vikings in the sixth inning with two goals as the home side led 3-2.

Dropping into the final at the top of seventh, Augustana tied the game at three to extend the season. Kennedy Buckman hit a sharp single into the center of the court that scored Bergen Lindner from second base. Lindner went to great lengths for Delaney Young who had hit base on one.

Tied at three, both squads went into extra innings for the second day in a row. After a Viking foul could not push the run in the top half of the eighth, Central Oklahoma threatened and eventually won in the singles.

Augustana achieved 12 hits including three from Mary Pardo and two each from Buckman and Abbie Lund. Amber Elliott and Ashley Mickschl held off UCO’s strike to seven strokes while Elliott had five innings and Mickschl 2.2.

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