It was the hit that made Augustana Softball history.
“I kind of just like froze in the moment,” said Eisenreich.
It was Eisenreich’s hit in the bottom of the seventh against Central Oklahoma that punched Augustana their ticket to the College World Series for the fifth time in program history.
“I was thinking to myself please let this kid be the one, because she’s had some ups and downs in her career. For her to be a senior and to be in that moment and to come up with a big hit, it’s just really special,” said Augustana Head Coach Gretta Melsted.
“I honestly had no doubt that we was going to hit the ball, she had two strikes on her. I was like she is such a good two strike hitter, I knew she is going to pull this out, and she did,” said Augustana infielder Shannon Petersen.
This is a moment the senior second baseman has dreamed of.
“I pinched ran here and there, and this last year was kind of my biggest opportunity to lead. You can always lead by voice when you’re not playing, but to lead my example is just another opponent,” said Eisenreich.
After having minimal play time in her first three seasons, Eisenreich is at the top at the top of her game now, hitting .377 on the year, with seven home runs.
“She’s just has had an absolutely phenomenal senior year. You know her stats hitting wise are just through the roof, the best season she’s had. So I’m just really excited to see everything come together in that senior moment,” said Melsted.
Eisenreich found her love on the diamond early. Her Uncle Jim played 15-years in the majors… while her father Charlie had a minor stint in the minors.
“There was definitely a pull from my uncle and from my dad to focus more on softball, but of course they never pressured anything. But my dad more so...He stays humble, and just really says you know hands to the ball, keep your nose on it, don’t pull your head, stay humble in your success and you’ll be good,” said Eisenreich.
Now in her senior season, Samantha is hoping to leave her own legacy at Augustana, working to bring home the Vikings first national softball title since 1991.
“It’s my senior year, you know it’s always a goal every single year and this year I think it’s been more solidified. I mean everyone has bought in and everybody is so excited about this opportunity and we all believed we had the chance since day one,” said Eisenreich.
Augustana will face UC-San Diego in the College World Series on Thursday at 7:30 in Denver.