LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A walk-off home run in the 11th inning ended No. 16 Augustana's season as it fell 5-4 to No. 1 Valdosta State in a NCAA Championship elimination game on Thursday.
Augustana finishes the season at 53-12 while VSU improves to 54-5.
Jenelle Trautmann started the game for Augustana and threw 2.0 innings with three hits and two runs allowed. She also had two strikeouts. Chelsey Durland threw 4.0 clutch innings and gave up just one run on five hits. Ashley Meyer (27-5) allowed two runs in the final 4.0 innings but took the loss in the 11th.
Elizabeth Murray finished 2 for 4 while Matley Jones was 2 for 5 with an RBI.
In the first inning, Jenny Brown reached on a single and moved to second when Murray was hit by a pitch. When Lindsay Spanton singled up the middle, Brown raced around third and scored as Murray and Spanton moved up on the throw. Kelsey Kalkman then singled through the left side and pushed Murray home and Spanton to third. Jones then hit a double into center field that scored Spanton and put Augustana up 3-0, though Kalkman was thrown out at home on the play.
VSU answered back in the second after putting up two runs on three hits, but Durland induced a ground ball out with the bases loaded to limit the Blazers' flurry.
The Vikings notched one more score in the fourth after Chelsi Winskowski drew a walk and then stole second base. After Taylor Kapsch walked on an illegal pitch and stole second, VSU's second illegal pitch of the inning forced Winskowski home during Theresa McMahon's at-bat.
VSU got one run back in the sixth and tied the game with two outs in the seventh on a pinch-hit single up the middle by Sarah Vaughn.
The Vikings threatened to take the lead several times in extra-innings, but their biggest chance came in the 11th when Jones led off with a single into left-center, Winskowski reached on a fielder's choice and Kapsch doubled to right-center to put runners on second and third with one out. The Vikings, however, failed to take advantage.
VSU ended the game in the bottom of the 11th when third baseman Samantha Posey took a 1-0 pitch over the left-center fence for the victory.
This was Augustana's 20th postseason appearance and first appearance at the NCAA Championship since 1998.