DENVER, Colo. -- Taking the field in the opening round of the NCAA DII Championship, the Augustana softball team executed in the circle and at the plate for an 8-0 (5 inn.) win over the University of California, San Diego. The Augustana offense provided the power, slugging two home run and collecting 10 hits, while Ashley Mickschl dominated from the circle, tossing a complete-game one-hitter.
Augustana (57-10) advances in the winner bracket and now takes on West Florida at 1:30 pm on Friday afternoon. The second-seed Argonauts opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over West Chester (PA).
Head coach Gretta Melsted was pleased with her program's performance in round one.
"Our kids played hard today and I felt like we played well. We knew we needed to get our bats going, and Mary Pardo really sparked our offense," Melsted said. "I'm very proud of our kids for how well they played."
Moments that mattered:
Ashley Mickschl backed up her All-America honors with a complete-game one-hitter. The sophomore struck out three on the way to her 28th win and 20th shutout. Mickschl also had two hits and two RBI.
Mary Pardo crushed the third pitch of the game for a solo home run to center.
Shannon Petersen had a two-run home run, giving the Vikings a 5-0 lead in the 3rd.
Kara McDougall also came up clutch with a two-run single.
Maggie Kadrlik led all players with three hits (3-3) on the day.
For the third straight game, Augustana flexed their muscle in the first frame. On the third pitch of the game, NSIC Freshman of the Year Mary Pardo clubbed a solo home run to center , giving the Viking a 1-0 lead.
Ashley Mickschl was solid from the start as well. The Sophomore picked up two quick strikeouts and kept the Tritons without a hit in the first three innings.
The offense continued to roll in the second. Mickschl helped her own cause with a two-run double to right center, scoring Pardo and Samantha Eisenreich. By the end of the second, the Vikings led 3-0.