National Champion Augustana Softball Team Returns Home

The Augustana bus was greeted by fans and staff outside of the Elmen Center, bringing home the softball program's first national championship trophy since 1991.

"You just are so excited for your players. for what they accomplished and for entire program and school because none of this happens if you don't have support," says head coach Gretta Melsted.

Augie had a record tying 61 win season. A great way to go out for the Vikings four seniors. Samantha Eisenreich fielded the ground ball at second base for the final out.

"I had biggest smile on my face before I let go of ball. To be honest, i was praying. It's a way to go out, the best way to go out," said Eisenreich.

"There's only one teams that ends season on a happy win. Some teams don't even make it to their conference tournament, and they might end on a win, but we get to end on a happy win," says senior Shannon Petersen.

The Vikings had to fight back in the best of three championship series. After losing game one early Monday morning, following long rain and lightning delays. Augie came back to win two straight on Monday afternoon.

"I kept telling our kids, this is to our advantage because we are just used to this. I was kind of joking with one of NCAA people, my team has played till two in the morning before and we had to get up at seven in morning the next day." says Melsted.

A year ago, the Augustana baseball team became the northernmost program to win a national championship. The Augie softball team beat teams from California, Florida, Georgia and then Texas to win it all, from a place that sometimes sees snow, in May.

"We had a funny encounter with one of the San Diego coaches actually at our banquet. She was like, do you guys actually play your games in a dome? I was like yea we do, but we don't have a dome. we travel four hours to play a game to play in a Division Three dome. Just find places to play. She asked if we warmed our bats and we were like nope, we just go hit with them." says senior Maggie Kadrlik.