Softball ranked No. 12 in National Poll

The Augustana Softball team is building off of its solid NSIC debut with an 8-0 record and a No. 12 national ranking in the week seven National Fastpitch Coaches Association Poll.

After doubleheader wins against St. Cloud State and SMSU the Vikings are looking to build off of their early season momentum.

The Vikings conquered the St. Cloud State Huskies on Sunday, Mar. 31, beating them 6-1 in the first game and 10-2 in the second.

“We were very attack-minded today and that is what made us successful,” said head coach Gretta Melsted on Mar. 31. “Our hitters were doing a really good job of just really attacking and swinging hard and putting good swings on pitches.”

In the first game, the Vikings took four innings to find their offensive footing, but locked St. Cloud down on defense.

The rhythm changed when senior catcher Maggie Kadrlik hit a double that sent junior outfielder Kendall Cornick, who was already on second, to home plate.

Freshman infielder Delaney Young followed with an RBI and junior infielder Christina Pickett finished the inning by sending a fly ball to right field.

The Vikings went to work after the fourth inning, extending their 3-0 lead to 6-0 in the next couple of innings.

Right before Augustana could claim a perfect victory, St. Cloud sophomore midfielder Megan Conrads hit a triple that sent sophomore midfielder Haley Mcfarlane, who was on first base, home and put points on the board for the Huskies.

“I think it’s deceiving, because even though it took us a little while to score, if you saw our swings and if you saw the balls that were hit by the kids, we had really good swings and we were hitting the ball really well,” Melsted said. “We were just hitting right to people.”

The Vikings carried their momentum into the second game. Kadrlik hit an RBI in the first inning, sending Cornik—who had stolen her way to a spot on second base—home.

Triples by Maggie Dunnett and Mary Pardo brought the score up to 4-0, which the Vikings then built upon in the third inning when they snagged six more runs giving them a 10-run lead.

The Huskies managed to achieve two more runs in the fifth inning, but ultimately, fell 10-2 to the Vikings.

“We did a lot of things right,” said sophomore pitcher/infielder Amber Elliott. “Fielding was good, our hitting was excellent, everyone just had a presence in the box, so that was like really good. Pitchers, just the match-ups worked really well.”

Ashley Mickschl led the team pitching with five strikeouts in five innings. Olivia Wolters pitched two innings with two strikeouts.

Kadrlik led the team with four hits out of six at-bats. She also hit a two-run home run for the Vikings.

Augustana followed up with two 7-1 wins against SMSU on Tuesday, adding to its nine-game win streak.

The Vikings will head to Mankato on Saturday to take on the Minnesota State University Mavericks. The first game is set to start at 1 p.m. and the second at 3 p.m.

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