Winskowski, Brown Provide Late-Game Heroics For Vikings
SIOUX FALLS, SD — Augustana closed out the regular season with a series split against Minot State on Sunday afternoon. The Vikings collected just three hits in game one’s 2-1 loss, but Chelsi Winskowski and Jenny Brown’s “Senior Day” heroics gave the Vikings a 4-2 win in game two.
After the split, Augustana is 30-13 with a 17-9 mark in the NSIC and Minot State is 36-7, 18-6 in NSIC competition.
Minot State starting pitcher Mandy Greenberg allowed just three hits while striking out seven Vikings to lead the Beavers to a 2-1 win. Lindsay Spanton broke up Greenberg’s no-hit bid in the fourth inning and tallied two of Augustana’s three hits and their lone run.
MSU was the first to break through with a run in the top of the third when a two-out single provided the Beavers with a spark to score a run. One inning later, Minot State tacked on another run aided by an error in right field. Faced with a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh, the Vikings would not go quietly.
Spanton led the inning off with a single up the middle. Jenelle Trautmann hit a blooper that found a home in right field to give the Vikings a couple of leadoff runners. Jordan Schaffer then sacrificed the runners to second and third with a bunt.
Erin Kempf scored Spanton on a hard-hit line drive that was deep enough to score her from third. The Vikings’ comeback attempt was thwarted by a strike out to end the game, 3-2 in favor of the Beavers.
Jenny Brown and Chelsi Winskowksi combined for five hits on “Senior Day” and each of their two-RBI base hits in the sixth inning gave the Vikings a 4-2 win in game two.
The Beavers found themselves in the lead once again when Jen Dixon hit a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning. Both starting pitchers, Jenelle Trautmann and MSU’s Tiffany Friesen, were having success early in the game. Before Dixon’s blast the two hurlers combined to strike out nine batters and give up just eight hits.
In the sixth inning, the Vikings entrusted the game in their seniors and the fourth-years came through. Trautmann reached on an error to lead off and Schaffer was hit by a pitch to give the Vikings two runners with no outs. The runners advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt from Kempf, which set the table for Winskowski.
The senior from Elk River, Minn. launched a 2-0 pitch off the base of the right field fence to tie the game with her two-RBI double. Carley Pickett and Carly Peterson then singled to load the bases for the Vikings.
With two outs, Brown singled to centerfield and plated Winskowski and Pickett to give the Vikings a 4-2 lead. Trautmann finished off the first two batters with help from a fully-extended grab by Spanton to retire the second MSU hitter.
Pickett came on in relief of Trautmann and was tasked with facing Dixon, the NCAA leader in batting average. On a 1-2 pitch, Pickett fanned Dixon to give the Vikings a 4-2 lead and series split.
The Vikings will begin their postseason journey at the NSIC Tournament in Rochester, Minn. beginning on May 3. The bracket is set to be released Monday evening.
Courtesy: Augustana College