SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Opening up a four-game road trip, the No. 17 Augustana softball team started the weekend strong with a pair of wins over Northern State. The Vikings rolled to an 8-0 win in game one and finished the sweep with an 11-2 win in game two.
Augustana, who has now won eight straight games, improves to 40-7 (20-2 NSIC). The Vikings become the first team this season in DII softball to win 40 games, and it also marks the third straight season the Vikings have won 40 or more. Northern State is now 17-27 (9-13 NSIC).
Moments that mattered:
Shannon Petersen finished the two games 4-7 with two home runs and five RBI. As of Friday night, the senior leads the NSIC with 11 home runs this season.
Samantha Eisenreich finished with four hits and three RBI
Ashley Mickschl hit her second three-run home run of the year, and also pitched five shutout inning to collect her NSIC-leading 19th win of the year.
Olivia Wolters pitched four innings of game two to get the win. She is now 8-0 on the year.
In game two, Maggie Kadrlik went 3-4 with a three-run home run.
Augustana offense went to work from the first pitch of the game. Mary Pardo reached on a hit by a pitch, and following a steal of second, Shannon Petersen brought her in with an RBI single to the left side of the field. Now leading 1-0, Augustana added to the advantage in the second. With a runner on, Samantha Eisenreich connected on her fifth home run of the season - a blast to center field - and made it a 3-0 Viking lead.
Moving to the 3rd, Christina Pickett started the inning with a single to left. Following a walk, Kara McDougall came up clutch with an RBI single to left. By the top of the 4th, Augustana led 4-0.
The Viking offense put the game away in the fifth as starter Ashley Mickschl helped her own cause. With two runners on, Mickschl blasted a three-run homer to center. Mickschl has now hit three-run home runs in two of the last four games. Mickschl also pitched five frames from the circle, allowing 0 runs three hits. The sophomore now has an NSIC-best 19 wins this year.
Petersen put the finishing touches on the game with a solo shot in the seventh. Over the last six games, Petersen now has 4 home runs and 14 RBI.
Augustana now has 13 shutouts this season, which spots them top-15 in the nation for DII.
The Vikings started strong in game two. With two out in the first, Kendall Cornick singled to right. Next up was Petersen, and she continued to rake with a two-run home run to center field. She now has 11 home runs on the season, which leads the NSIC.
Augustana doubled up the lead in the second frame. With a pair of runners in scoring position, Mary Pardo connected on a sharp single through the left side. Maggie Dunnett and Amanda Dickmeyer touched home to make it 4-0.
Eisenreich added an RBI single in the third, and fourth would prove to be one of the Vikings biggest innings of the day. Kendall Cornick drove in a pair on an RBI single, and Petersen continued to drive in runs with an RBI single of her own.
Maggie Kadrlik put the game away in the 6th frame with a three-run home run to right. The senior is now second on the team with 44 RBI. Amber Elliott pitched two frames to start, but Olivia Wolters pitched the final four to collect the win. The junior is 8-0 this season.
The Vikings are now back in action on Saturday afternoon against MSU Moorhead. First pitch with the Dragons is set for 12 p.m. in Moorhead, Minnesota.