In the News: 'Augie Captures NSIC Softball Crown'

Augustana earned the No. 1 seed in the Central 1 Regional and will be one of 16 teams to host a three-day NCAA Regional Tournament. The Vikings will face No. 4-seeded Regis (Colo.) in the first round of the tournament Friday at 12 p.m., the NCAA announced Monday. Minnesota Duluth is the Central 1 Regional's No. 2 seed and will face No. 3-seeded Colorado School of Mines Friday at 2:30 p.m. All games in the Central 1 Regional Tournament will be played at Augustana's Bowden Field.

View live stats, scores and more information about the NCAA Central 1 Regional Softball Tournament.

The following story appeared in the May 8 issue of the Argus Leader:

Augie captures NSIC softball crown
by Brad Green

Rallying from a four-run deficit, the eighth-ranked Augustana softball team came back to beat Minnesota State 5-4 in the NSIC championship game Saturday afternoon at Bowden Field.

The win gives the Vikings (45-8) their first conference tournament championship since joining the NSIC in 2008. They also receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Central Regional tournament May 13-15 at a to-be-determined site, although the Vikings, who are ranked No. 1 in the region, have a good chance at hosting the event.

The Mavericks beat the Vikings 6-3 earlier Saturday to force the deciding second game.

The Mavericks (48-12) scored the game's first four runs, two each in the second and third innings off Augie's Chelsey Durland. In the fourth inning, the Vikings' Taylor Kapsch singled before Chelsi Winskowski hit her first home run of the season to cut Minnesota State's lead in half at 4-2.

In the sixth inning, Augie's Elizabeth Murray doubled to right-center field with two outs and two runners on. Theresa McMahon and Jenny Brown scored to tie the game at 4.

Traci Fransen followed by singling Murray home and the Vikings capped their comeback, taking a 5-4 lead into the seventh inning.

Fransen said Winskowski's home run was the catalyst Augie needed.

"Chelsi's hit started to pick up our morale and helped us realize we can get it done," she said.

The Mavericks' Lauryn Morris started off the seventh inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Natalie Spicer. The Vikings' Ashley Meyer closed the door on Minnesota State when Julie O'Neal grounded out to short and Lindsay Erickson fouled out to Kapsch in right field.

"We had to work for (the win)," Augustana coach Grett Melsted said. "Our kids had a great comeback."

Meyer's season record sits at 24-4 with the win while Minnesota State's Courtney McKelvogue took the loss.

Mavericks coach Lori Meyer said her team couldn't finish off the Vikings.

"We just couldn't get that third out (in the sixth)," she said. "We didn't execute some of the small things."

Earlier Saturday, Minnesota State defeated Wayne State 6-2, earning the right to face Augustana in the first championship game.

Rallying from a 2-0 deficit, the Mavericks became the first team to knock off the Vikings in the tournament, winning 6-3. After scoring a run in the fifth inning, Minnesota State scored four times on five hits in the sixth inning to take a 5-2 lead. Each team added a run in the seventh. With the win, the Mavericks' Kendra Huettl ran her season record to 27-6 while Meyer took the loss for Augie.

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Communications & Media Relations