Vikings Finish Regular Season With Sweep Of U-Mary
BISMARCK, ND — No. 24 Augustana concluded regular season play Saturday with a sweep over the University of Mary on the road. The Vikings (40-11, 23-7 NSIC) won game one 9-1 in five innings before shutting out the Marauders (30-20, 15-11 NSIC) 6-0 in game two.
Augustana has now won 40 games in a season four times in eight seasons under the direction of Gretta Melsted and has won 20-plus NSIC games in five of six seasons.
Augustana is currently ranked third in the NCAA Central Region rankings. The Vikings finished the regular season in third place in the NSIC marking the fifth time in six seasons finishing third or better. Augustana will earn the No. 3 seed in the NSIC Tournament which will be held at Sherman Park in Sioux Falls May 1-3.
The Vikings scored nine runs on eight hits, including a home run and two doubles in a 9-1 win over U-Mary in game one on Saturday.
Lindsay Spanton hit her ninth home run of the season while going 2 for 2 with two RBI and three runs scored. Caitlin Nichol provided another multiple-hit game for the Vikings going 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
Jenelle Trautmann logged another strong pitching performance picking up her 24th win of the season to improve to 24-5 while allowing just one run on three hits. Trautmann is one win shy of tying her career-high of 25 in a single season.
The Vikings tagged U-Mary starter Cherlyn Trujillo with her ninth loss of the season putting up nine runs, six earned, on eight hits.
Augustana struck early in game one scoring two runs on two hits in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Trautmann led off the inning with her ninth double of the season and Spanton followed with a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Carly Peterson then reached on a fielder’s choice as Trautmann was put out at third base.
Jordan Schaffer quickly loaded the bases picking up a five-pitch walk and Erin Kempf delivered a two-RBI single to left field to give the Vikings an early two-run lead.
Trautmann set U-Mary down in order for the second straight inning in the second and the Vikings put up three more runs in the top of the third to go in front 5-0. U-Mary looked to get two quick outs in the top of the third but Sarah Kennedy reached first base on a passed ball after striking out for what would have been the second out of the inning.
Trautmann then reached on a fielder’s choice as Kennedy was put out at second base but Spanton followed with a single and Peterson delivered an RBI double to left field to push Augustana’s lead to three. Schaffer then reached on an error by the U-Mary second baseman that allowed two more runs to score and the Vikings to take a 5-0 lead.
U-Mary picked up its first hit of the game in the bottom of the third inning getting a one-out single but Trautmann got a lineout and a groundout to end the threat. The Vikings responded by putting up four more runs in the top of the fourth inning to go in front 9-0.
Nichol started the rally with a one-out double and Mackenzie Alstott then reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second base to put runners on second and third with one out. Kennedy reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on the play while Nichol scored and Alstott came around to score on an error by the U-Mary catcher.
Trautmann then popped out for the second out of the inning and two pitchers later Spanton sent her ninth home run of the season down the right field line to put Augustana in front 9-0.
The Marauders plated their only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning getting a two-out RBI single from Julissa Perales but that is all they would be able to score as the Vikings picked up their third straight win.
Carley Pickett tossed six shutout innings in the nightcap while striking out seven batters and holding the Marauders to just five hits for her 14th win of the season. Augustana finished the game with 10 hits, including two doubles.
Kennedy and Trautmann each went 2 for 4 for the Vikings at the plate and Maddie Merriam added two hits in three at bats with a run scored. Seven Vikings picked up hits in game two.
Augustana got on the board after a scoreless first inning scoring two runs on two hits in the top of the second inning. Trautmann led off the second with a double to left field but the Vikings were down to their last out in the inning after Trautmann was forced out at third on a fielder’s choice by Peterson. Schaffer came up with a clutch hit sending a double to center field to give Augustana a 1-0 lead. Erin Kempf then reached on a throwing error and later got into a rundown between first and second allowing Schaffer to score from third on the play to put the Vikings up 2-0.
U-Mary threatened in the bottom of the second getting two hits but Pickett stranded both runners on base and the Vikings responded with a three-run fifth inning to go up 5-0.
Augustana picked up five hits in the top of the third inning while scoring three runs. Kennedy drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI single scoring Merriam who led off the inning with a single. Later in the inning, Spanton reached on a fielder’s choice that drove in a run and the third run came when Trautmann scored on a wild pitch.
Augustana was held off the board in the fourth while Pickett mowed the Marauders down in order in the third and fourth innings. The Vikings pushed one more run across in the top of the fifth inning when Kennedy scored from second after Spanton reached on a throwing error to make the score 6-0.
U-Mary put a mini threat together with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning getting back-to-back two out hits before Pickett got the final out on a ground ball.
The NSIC tournament will be held at Sherman Park in Sioux Falls Thursday, May 1 through Saturday, May 3.
Courtesy: Augustana College