Softball Heads Into Conference Play Off With Historic Start

Jacob Willis, staff writer

A couple weeks ago, a question surrounding the Auggie softball team loomed big over the heads of the program: can the softball program bounce back after a mere five-win season from a year ago? That question has been answered in incredible fashion. Auggie Softball has been nothing short of dominant as of late, posting their best start to a season since 1984. A doubleheader against North Central would be the last pair of games before MIAC play, and the squad did not disappoint.

Thursday’s first game of the doubleheader would start off with the Auggies getting on the board almost immediately after the first pitch was thrown, as first-year infielder Olivia Hennager would cross home on an error batted in by sophomore infielder Zoie Johnson. From that point on, North Central could do nothing to stop the Augsburg offense. The Auggies would go on to score in every inning of the game, putting up one run in the second, five in the third and one in the fourth. The Auggies would go on to mercy rule the North Central Rams by a score of 8-0, ending the game by the fifth inning. 

Game two of the doubleheader would provide more of the same for the Auggies. The Auggies would put up an astonishing eight runs in just the first inning alone. An onslaught of errors by North Central would deflate any chance the Rams had at a more competitive contest, as they would commit five errors in only the bottom of the first. After the first inning rally by the Auggie offense, it was smooth sailing from there. The Auggies would take game two by a score of 11-0, not only completing the sweep, but doing so while allowing zero runs the whole afternoon as well. Both games would end in a mercy rule, meaning the Auggies were able to take two wins in just 10 innings of softball.

So just how good are the Auggies looking this year? Well, the last time the Auggies started out this hot, they earned a berth in the 1984 Division III National Tournament. Ever since then, no Auggie softball team has been able to accomplish what the 2023 squad has. The closest any team has come was a 22-18 record in 2018 that led to a MIAC playoff spot. If we were to compare this year’s team to last year’s, this year’s Auggies have already more than doubled their win total from last year. The bottom line is the 2023 Auggie softball team is really good. Going into MIAC play, the Auggies will undoubtedly be a team with a target on their back, as they look to carry that same dominance with them heading into in-conference play.