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Augustana’s softball season ends in heartbreaking fashion

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EDMUND, OK (AU) – The champion NSIC Augustana softball team saw their season end on Saturday after forcing Game 2 if necessary, but falling in this contest in eight innings, 4-3. Augustana won Game 1 against Central Oklahoma, 3-1, to force Game 2.

Augustana concludes his season with a 50-10 record after advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season and 28th time overall. Augustana set single-season school records for highest slugging percentage, highest on-base percentage and most homers.

First game: Augustana 3, Central Oklahoma 1
In a must-see situation, Delaney Young homered and Torri Chute hit a two-run brace to lead the Vikings to victory. As those two powered up the offense, Ashley Mickschl was on cruise control in the circle, throwing a full two-shot game while giving up a single run.

Late in the second, Delaney Young sent a line home run over the left field fence for the first 1-0 lead. This home run broke the school record for the most team home runs in a single season, as it was the 95th of the year.

The Bronchos tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third as Mikayla Rutland reached the bases after being hit by a pitch and Shayla Harper tripled.

However, it was the only infraction UCO allegedly committed against Mickschl while she waited for the green light from her team. This happened in the fifth inning when Mary Pardo and Liz Dierks had back-to-back singles. Chute then doubled to left center tagging both base runners for the 3-1 lead.

Mickschl and the Vikings defense did the rest as she pitched all seven innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out two for her 24th win of 2022.

Augustana recorded six hits in six different spots in the batting order. The victory sealed the much-needed second game which took place 30 minutes later.

Game 2: Central Oklahoma 4, Augustana 3, 8 innings
Much like the contest between the two teams on Friday, this one headed into extra innings. The home Bronchos would win on a single down the middle to score the runner from third base, ending Augustana’s season.

Augustana took a 1-0 lead early in the first period as Liz Dierks crossed home plate via an error on the UCO second baseman. However, that lead was quickly tied back down first when the Bronchos scratched a run through the plate.

In the top of the second, Mary Pardo answered with a single down the middle to score Amanda Dickmeyer from third base. The Vikings’ 2-1 lead held until the fourth inning when the Bronchos tied things up again, this time at 2-2.

Oklahoma center put the pressure on the Vikings in the sixth inning with a brace as the home side took a 3-2 lead.

Until his final in the bottom of the seventh, Augustana tied the game at three to extend the season. Kennedy Buckman hit a sharp single into center field that scored Bergen Lindner from second base. Lindner was running for Delaney Young who had reached base on a single.

Tied at three, both teams went to extra innings for the second day in a row. After the Vikings offense couldn’t push a run in the top half of the eighth, Central Oklahoma threatened and ultimately won in singles.

Augustana had 12 hits including three from Mary Pardo and two from Buckman and Abbie Lund. Amber Elliott and Ashley Mickschl held the UCO offense to seven hits while Elliott was five innings and Mickschl was 2.2 innings.

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