Mustang softball swept by Augie

Closing out a stretch of six games in three days, the Southwest Minnesota State softball team didn’t have enough left in the tank to get past Augustana Tuesday. The Mustangs were swept by the Vikings in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference doubleheader, losing Game 1 5-2 and dropping the second contest 9-5 at the Morningside Little League Complex in Sioux City, Iowa.

The win moves the Vikings, one of the top four teams in the NSIC, to 15-4 in the conference and 25-8 overall. SMSU falls to 14-16 overall and 7-11 in league play.

After a scoreless first inning in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Augustana scored one run in each of the next three innings, then added two runs in the fifth. SMSU’s only two runs came in the third, as the Mustangs struggled to get much going against Vikings starter Jenelle Trautmann.

Trautmann earned the win in the circle, striking out eight batters and holding SMSU to five hits in six innings of work. She improved to 22-5 on the season with the victory.

Shortstop Chelsey Rodenkirch had three hits in the game for SMSU with a double and an RBI. Senior first baseman Amy Dreessen went 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

SMSU’s Rachel Hoeppner started the game and pitched the first 5 2/3 innings. She gave up two runs on eight hits with three walks. Augustana’s batters didn’t strike out once in the game against Hoeppner or reliever Rachel Groff.

Augustana carried its momentum into Game 2, scoring three runs in the first inning off of Hoeppner in a game the Vikings led from start to finish. SMSU mounted a rally by scoring four runs over the third and fourth innings, but Augustana scored five runs in that span to stay in control.

The Vikings used the long ball to get ahead in Game 2, with Trautmann, Lindsay Spanton and Emily Heinz all hitting home runs.

Dreessen and Rodenkirch again led the charge for the Mustangs at the plate in defeat. Dreessen was 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and two runs scored. Rodenkirch went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Hoeppner again got the start for SMSU and allowed eight runs on 10 hits and a walk in 3 2/3 innings. Groff pitched the final 3 1/3 and held the Vikings to one run on four hits.

SMSU is scheduled to resume action this weekend, traveling to take on Winona State on Saturday and Upper Iowa on Sunday.