DENVER, Colo. -- Following a three-hour lightning delay - and then another 90-minute delay in the second inning - the Augustana softball team dropped a 7-2 decision to Texas A&M Kingsville in the opening round of the NCAA DII Championship Series.
The Vikings (59-11) now trail the best-of-three series 1-0. Augustana will need a pair of wins on Monday to claim the DII national title. Monday's first game is set for 3 p.m (CT). Game three will take place 30 minutes after game two.
Augustana head coach Gretta Melsted is looking forward to Monday's action.
"I told our team, have a short memory," Melsted said. "Change your mindset. Monday is just another day of softball."
Moments that mattered:
• Augustana started the scoring with a pair of solo home runs. They lead all teams at the DII Championship with six home runs.
• Samantha Eisenreich hit her first home run of the tournament in the second, a solo shot to straight center.
• For the second-straight game, Kendall Cornick also hit a home run - a solo shot in the third.
• The loss is the first of the championship for the Vikings, and just the 11th all year.
For the fourth straight game, Augustana started the scoring. On the second at-bat following the second rain delay, senior Samantha Eisenreich stepped in a blasted a solo home run to straight-away center. At nearly 11 p.m. local time, the Vikings had built a 1-0 lead.
The Javelinas came back to tie the game with an RBI single, knotting the game at 1-1 going into the bottom of the third. However, the power of the Viking long ball struck again in their next at-bat.
Kendall Cornick turned on a 2-2 pitch and deposited it over the fence in left-center. The Junior has now homered in back-to-back games, and tonight, gave the Vikings a 2-1 lead.
Moving past midnight, Augustana and A&M Kingsville played into the fourth. Mickschl pitched strong, collected two strikeouts and not allowing another run.
Mickschl returned to the mound in the fifth and collected a pair of ground outs to get out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam. However, Texas A&M Kingsville responded in the top of the sixth, scoring six runs on seven hits, and taking control with a 7-2 lead.
Augustana saw two runners reach in the sixth, but couldn't convert on the opportunity. The Vikings went down 1-2-3 in the seventh.