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April 30, 2012

2012 Season - Vikings drop doubleheader to Millikin

Dawn Kernich was one of three Augustana seniors, along with Jillian Gibbs and Abbi Staples, honored Monday between games of the the Vikings' doubleheader with Millikin.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill.-Augustana closed the season Monday by dropping both ends of a doubleheader to Millikin at Carver Field. The Big Blue pounded out 11 hits to post a 9-0 win in game one and threw out the potential tying run at the plate to preserve a 3-2 win in the nightcap. The Vikings finish the season with a 25-13 record and a 6-8 mark in CCIW play. Millikin improves to 22-16 overall and finishes 9-5 in the league.

GAME ONE: MILLIKIN 9, AUGUSTANA 0

After retiring the Big Blue in order in a six-pitch first inning, Augustana starter Sarah Hintz (LeRoy HS, LeRoy, Ill.) ran into trouble in the second. Kathleen Campbell lined a double to right to lead off the inning. Jenna Anderson then hit a soft liner to center for a hit with Campbell remaining at second. Megan Mathews singled to left and all the runners moved up two more bases when the ball was misplayed. Mathews scored the third run of the frame on an infield groundout.

Millikin made it 6-0 with three more in the third. Campbell had an RBI double and Anderson a two-run single.

After a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth, Jamie Rehmert (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) came on in relief of Hintz. She retired the first batter she faced and Viking catcher Randi Applehans (Mountain Vista HS, Highlands Ranch, Colo.) picked pinch-runner Jess Oller off first. However, Cora Jeffers singled and stole second in front of a Whitney Schafman two-run homer that made it 8-0 Millikin.

Campbell and Anderson teamed up to produce the final run in the fifth. Campbell led off with her third double of the game and Anderson brought her home with her third single of the contest.

Meanwhile, the Vikings couldn't put anything together against Big Blue hurler Lauren Kitterman, managing just a second-inning single by Courtney Ledezma (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.). Kitterman improved to 12-6 with the win, while Hintz fell to 15-4 with the loss.

GAME TWO: MILLIKIN 3, AUGUSTANA 2

The nightcap was a much tighter affair. The Vikings trailed 3-2 as they came to bat in the top of the seventh. Jenna Teson (Jacobs HS, Algonquin, Ill.) reached on a one-out infield hit and Jillian Gibbs (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) followed with a walk. Krista Watson hit into a fielder's choice with Teson cut down at third base. That brought up Ledezma and she lined a single back through the box. Gibbs held up at third on the play and the bases were loaded. The next batter was Christie Wiersema (Morrison HS, Morrison, Ill.) and she tapped back to the mound. Schafman, who had relieved starter Jan Ellis in the fifth, threw home for the force on Gibbs to end the game.

Augustana took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Wiersema worked Ellis for a leadoff walk and eventually came around to score when Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) lined a single to left center.

Millikin tied it in the third with an unearned run off Viking starter Ledezma.

In the fifth, Teson led off with a bunt single, moved to second on a Gibbs sacrifice and came around to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead when Watson ripped a double to right center. However, the Big Blue came right back to take the lead with a pair of runs off reliever Wiersema in the bottom of the frame. Jeffers led off with a single and stole second one out later. Then, on a pitch in the dirt, she headed for third. Applehans attempted to gun her down, but her throw hit batter Tess Strang in the head and rolled in front of the Augustana dugout. By the time the Vikings could chase it down, Jeffers had come around to score the tying run. Strang then provided the eventual winning run with a home run to left field.

Wiersema took the loss and fell to 1-1 on the year. Teson and Watson each went 2-for-4.

Between games the Vikings honored their three seniors, Gibbs, Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.) and Staples on Senior Day. The trio helped Augustana to a 103-61 record during the last four years.