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April 21, 2013

Vikings salvage split with Elmhurst

Sophomore Christie Wiersema homered twice and picked up the win in relief Sunday as Augustana won 6-3, salvaging a doubleheader split with Elmhurst. The Vikings dropped the opener 2-1.

ELMHURST, Ill.-Sophomore Christie Wiersema (Morrison HS, Morrison, Ill.) homered twice and picked up the win in relief to lead Augustana to a 6-3 win at Elmhurst Sunday, salvaging a split in the teams' doubleheader. The Vikings dropped the opener 2-1 and are now 21-11 overall and 6-6 in the CCIW. The Bluejays are 14-10 on the year and 1-7 in the league.

Game One - Elmhurst 2, Augustana 1  

Claire Bukowski' two-run, walk-off in the bottom of the seventh gave Elmhurst its first conference win in the opener.  

The Vikings squandered a three-hitter from starter Sarah Hintz (Le Roy HS, Le Roy, Ill.), stranding seven runners in the contest.  

Augustana got its lone run in the first. Junior shortstop Krista Watson (Coal City HS, Coal City, Ill.) reached on a two-out single to left, moved to second on a Jamie Rehmert (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) walk and scored on Chaney Tambling's (Dwight HS, Dwight, Ill.) double to left.  

The Vikings left two runners on base in the first, third and seventh innings. Meanwhile, Hintz was handcuffing the Bluejays, holding them to just a fourth-inning single.  

That changed in the bottom of the seventh, when Elmhurst's Meg Griffin reached on a one-out double to right center and Bukowski followed with a two-run blast to center, ending the game.  

Watson and freshman center fielder Cheyenne Burnett (Rock Falls HS, Rock Falls, Ill.) each had two hits for Augustana. Hintz fell to 9-5 with the tough-luck loss. She allowed just three hits in six and a third innings, walking one and fanning three.  

Game Two - Augustana 6, Elmhurst 3  

Wiersema and Watson each pounded a pair of homers in the nightcap as the Vikings rebounded for the win.  

Augustana, the designated home team in game two, took a 1-0 lead in the second on singles by Burnett, Jenna Nelson (Orion HS, Orion, Ill.), Wiersema and Chelsea Lavin (Downers Grove HS, Downers Grove, Ill.). The Bluejays tied it with a run off starter Ashley Anderson (Sherrard HS, Viola, Ill.) in the top of the third, but Watson's solo shot in the bottom of the frame regained the lead for the Vikings.  

Elmhurst went up 3-2 with a pair in the top of the fourth, but Wiersema hit a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the inning and then took to the circle to relieve Anderson in the top of the fifth. She would allow just a lone single over the final three innings.  

Another solo blast from Watson in the fifth gave the Vikings the lead for good. Wiersema gave herself an insurance run, leading off the sixth with a homer and Watson drove in Lavin with the final run when she reached on a Bluejay error.  

Elmhurst never mounted a threat against Wiersema, who improved to 5-1 with the win.  

In addition to Watson and Wiersema's big offensive games, Lavin and Burnett added two hits each.   Coach Kris Kistler's club hosts Monmouth in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday, April 24. First pitch at Carver Field is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.