SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Augustana was edged in two close games in a Saturday doubleheader with the University of Mary. The Vikings fell 3-2 in game one before late heroics couldn't prevent a 4-2 loss in the second leg. Augustana now holds a record of 29-10, 16-8 in the NSIC and the Marauders improve to 23-16, 12-10 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference competition.
U-Mary pitcher Cherlyn Trujillo tallied 10 strikeouts as Augustana's comeback bid fell short in game one against the Marauders to lose 3-2. Trujillo's ho-hitter bid was broken up by Jenny Brown's leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth.
Both Trujillo and Augustana starter Jenelle Trautmann were dealing in the opening innings, combining for nine strikeouts through the first three stanzas. The Marauders broke through in the top of the fourth with three hits resulting in the game's first run.
U-Mary tacked on two more runs when Allison Brown hit her ninth home run of the year to give the Marauders a 3-0 lead. The Vikings ended their scoring drought by capitalizing on a UM mistake in the bottom of the sixth.
Carly Peterson led the sixth inning off with a walk and Brown reached on a fielder's choice when U-Mary's third baseman fielded a ground ball and threw to second base but no Marauder was there to cover the bag. Peterson circled the bases on the receiver-less throw to cut the UM lead to 3-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Erin Kempf, Chelsi Winskowski, and Carley Pickett hit consecutive singles with one out. Pickett was caught in a rundown between first and second after her single and Kempf scored, but Pickett was tagged out on the play.
Peterson wasn't able to knock in the game-tying run from second and grounded out to the UM shortstop, ending the game with a 3-2 margin in favor of the Marauders.
The University of Mary plated three runs on six hits in the first two innings and the Vikings couldn't erase the deficit in the second leg of the doubleheader to lose 4-2.
After striking out the first hitter, Trautmann gave up four consecutive hits to the heart of the Marauder order and the Vikings were in a 2-0 hole after one inning. Trautmann escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the second, but not before U-Mary was able to score one run, pushing their lead to 3-0.
In the fifth inning, Allison Brown led off with a double to left centerfield and scored on Julissa Perales' single two batters later. Augustana was able to narrow the margin to 4-2 with two runs in the bottom half.
Pickett and Peterson each notched a two-out base hit to extend the fifth inning. Theresa McMahon then singled down the left field line, scoring Pickett from second. Pickett's slide into home took out the catcher and the left fielder's throw reached the backstop allowing Peterson to score and McMahon to reach third. Brown's hard ground ball to short was gobbled but not before the Vikings cut the Marauder lead to 4-2 after five innings.
After holding the Marauders scoreless in the sixth and seventh, Augustana was given one final shot to take the game in the bottom of the seventh. Winskowski singled to open the inning and the U-Mary third baseman couldn't handle Pickett's ground ball giving the Vikings two base runners with no outs.
Peterson sacrificed the Viking runners to second and third with a bunt to the UM third baseman. McMahon fouled out to the catcher on the first pitch before Jenny Brown worked a full count and walked to load the bases for Lindsay Spanton. Spanton fell victim to a called third strike on the outside corner, ending the Vikings comeback bid and giving Augustana its second straight loss.
Augustana will close out the regular season with a noon doubleheader on Sunday filled with NSIC and Central Region implications. The Vikings will host Minot State who is one spot ahead of the Vikings in the conference standings and seventh in the latest Central Region rankings – the Vikings moved to fifth in the regional rankings released on Wednesday.