Augustana Viking Softball Claims NSIC Championship
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – It was a range of emotions on Monday as the Augustana softball team clinched the 2022 NSIC Championship but also saw a pair of the nation’s longest streaks end in a split with St. Cloud State. After topping SCSU 3-2 in game one, the Vikings fell in game two, 8-1.
That ended the nation’s longest winning streak at 22 games and the nation’s longest home winning streak at 44 games. Those totals were also the longest across all three NCAA divisions.
However, the game one win granted Augustana the outright NSIC Championship for the second-straight year. The conference title was the fifth from the NSIC and 14th of all time. Augustana ends the 2022 regular season with a 43-8 overall record and a 27-3 NSIC mark. St. Cloud State ends its regular season 35-16, 23-7.
Game One: No. 12 Augustana 3, St. Cloud State 2
A first-inning home run from Torri Chute was the offense for Augustana in the 3-2 win. Liz Dierks and Abby Lien reached base on a single and a walk, respectively, to set up Chute. The 12th home run of the year from Chute bounced off the fence labeled 275 feet to give AU the 3-0 lead.
It was cruise control for Ashley Mickschl until the fifth inning when two unearned runs scored for SCSU. It was then a quick sixth and seventh innings to claim the win, sealing the NSIC Championship.
Mickschl picked up her 19th win of the season while striking out seven in the complete-game effort.
Augustana recorded seven hits in the game, led by Dierks with two.
Game Two: St. Cloud State 8, Augustana 1
The Vikings’ offense sputtered as St. Cloud State plated three runs in the first and three runs in the fourth, with an additional two insurance runs in the seventh.
Augustana got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning as Abby Lien connected on a home run into right field. However, that was all the offense Augustana would see crossing home plate in the loss.
The Vikings tallied six hits in the game with two from Gracey Brink. The other hits in the lineup came from Liz Dierks, Kennedy Buckman, Abbie Lund, and the home run from Lien.
Augustana is the No. 1 overall seed in the NSIC Tournament slated to begin Thursday. Augustana will play at 2:00 PM in Rochester, Minnesota, against the lowest seed after the play-in games: No. 8 Southwest Minnesota State, No. 9 Sioux Falls, or No. 10 Wayne State.