DENVER, Colo. -- It's the same formula that has worked well all season - hit home runs and pitch outstanding. On Friday, the Augustana softball team stuck to their routine, jumped out to an early lead and didn't look back for a 4-2 win over West Florida.
The Vikings (58-10) advance to the DII national semifinals where they will take on either West Chester (PA), San Diego or Young Harris (GA). A pair of elimination games on Friday and Saturday will determine Augustana's opponent.
Head coach Gretta Melsted was once again proud of her program's resiliency.
"We got some key hits today," Melsted said. "We did a great job of putting pressure on their defense throughout the game, and I'm really proud of our team for that."
Moments that mattered:
Friday marked the ninth straight game with a home run for Augustana. Six different players have cleared the fence over the nine-game stretch.
Ashley Mickschl was once again lights out, twirling a complete-game two-hitter. The All-American has now allowed 0 earned runs and three hits in 12 innings of work.
Christina Pickett blasted a two-run home run in the second inning, her first of the championship and 4th of the season.
Kara McDougall went 2-2 from the dish and scored one run.
The Vikings once again showed off their bats in the first few frames of the game. Starting in the second, Maggie Kadrlik singled to left and then moments later Christina Pickett crushed a two-run home run to left center. Her fourth home run of the year made it a 2-0 after two innings.
The home run marks the 13th blast in the last nine games for the Vikings. Over the nine-game stretch, six different Vikings have touched all four bases.
Ashley Mickschl continued to dominate in the first three innings, changing speeds and keeping West Flordia off balance. Mickschl went on to twirl her 21st complete game and collect her 29th win.
West Flordia came back to tie the game in the top of the fourth, scoring two runs on one hit and one error. However, the Viking offense went right back to work in the bottom of the fourth. Chistina Pickett started off with a walk, made it to third on a hit-by-pitch and fielders choice, and then scored on a wild pitch. Augustana took a 3-2 lead after four frames.
Ashley Mickschl helped her own cause with a seeing-eye single in the fifth, scoring Kara McDougall. Mickschl stayed in the game, pitching out a jam in the sixth and sent down West Florida in the seventh.