Viking Softball advances to championship on Saturday after passing ATU
EDMOND, Okla. – For the second consecutive day, it was a Abby Link home run that propelled the Augustana softball team to victory. Augustana outscored Arkansas Tech in a must-win game, 2-1, to advance to the championship on Saturday in Edmond, Oklahoma. Earlier in the day, Augustana was down 1-0 in 11 innings against Central Oklahoma.
The Vikings and Bronchos meet on Saturday where AU need to win two games to keep their season alive.
With Friday’s split, Augustana goes 49-9 on the season. Arkansas Tech saw its season end with a 40-19 record. Central Oklahoma advanced to the championship on Saturday with a 47-10 record.
Of note, Augustana tied the program’s single-season record for homers with 94 in the contest with Arkansas Tech. All 94 home runs are tied with the 2019 team for the most in a season.
Game 2: Augustana 2, Arkansas Tech 1
A first home run for the Golden Suns gave Arkansas Tech a 1-0 lead which they held throughout the fourth inning. At the top of the fifth, Torri waterfall drew a first step. With Becca Koupal running pinch, Delaney Young sacrificed Koupal at second base and was then sent to third base on a Gracey Brink Single.
Kennedy Buckman then picked up the RBI as Koupal crossed home plate to tie the game at 1-1.
At the start of sixth grade, Abby Link threw a 2-2 pitch over the left center field fence to give Augustana the 2-1 advantage. The home run was the Vikings’ record four-most hit in a single season.
Ashley Mickschl then stopped the Arkansas Tech offense successively in the bottom of the sixth and bottom of the seventh inning to secure the victory.
The Vikings won the game with just a pair of hits, Lien’s home run and a Buckman single.
Mickschl pitched all seven innings to improve to 23-2 on the season, allowing five hits and striking out five. She didn’t walk a hitter.
Game 1: Central Oklahoma 3, Augustana 0
It was an 11-inning affair that saw Central Oklahoma score all three runs on a brace in the Vikings’ 3-0 loss. Augustana recorded four hits over the 11 innings while drawing a pair of walks.
All in all, it was a pitching duel between the Vikings Amber Elliott and Kylee Lynch from central Oklahoma.
One of the game’s biggest threats came in the opening frame as Mary Pardo single to third base and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Liz Dierk then hit for a single bunt to push Pardo to third. However, that’s a long way off that she would get around the bases at the end of the inning.
Late in the sixth, Dierks reached second base after a single to left center and was advanced to second base by Abby Linkbut again, the potential run got stuck.
Heading into extra innings, the offense couldn’t push a run through.
On the other side of the field, the Vikings defense and Elliott allowed just four hits in the first seven innings of action, still not allowing a rhythm from the host Bronchos.
It’s only the 11and inning that UCO mounted a threat and scored all three points on a punt double.
Elliott pitched all 11 innings, allowing seven hits while striking out seven. She drops to 19-4 in the circle. Kylee Lynch was Central Oklahoma’s winning pitcher and went 25-3 that year.