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November 24, 2009

2010 Season - Softball team heads to Australia

Veteran head coach Kris Kistler has seen her Augustana softball program accomplish a lot in her 10 years at the Vikings’ helm. However, a new adventure awaits the Blue & Gold during the upcoming Christmas holiday. Kistler will take her team to Australia, landing in Brisbane on Monday, December 26 for a 13 day tour that will also include four games against yet-to-be determined opponents.

“This trip is a great opportunity for our program,” said Kistler who has compiled a record of 292-141-2 (.674) in 10 seasons. “We are excited to be able to see Australia and this will be a chance for our team to grow closer while getting a tremendous educational experience.”

After landing in Brisbane on December 26, the Vikings will spend two days in that city before playing a double header on December 29. The next day the group will visit Moreton Island and will spend New Year’s Eve on the Gold Coast. On New Year’s Day the tour will head to Sydney until January 5 before returning to Brisbane on January 6. Augustana will play another double header against a local team on January 6 before leaving for the United States on January 7.

Last year the Vikings went 28-14 overall and 9-5 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin. During Kistler’s career Augustana has captured CCIW titles in 2004 and 2006 and won the CCIW tournament in 2004, 2006 and 2007. The Vikings have participated in the NCAA Division III national tournament three times (2004, 2006 and 2007) under Kistler’s guidance.

This trip to Australia adds to the list of Augustana athletic teams making international trips. The men’s basketball team has gone to Belgium (2001), Ireland (2004) and China (2007) while the football team has traveled to Sweden (1999), Italy (2004) and Czechoslovakia (2007). Men’s soccer has played contests in Italy (2007) and women’s soccer made a sojourn to Costa Rica (2008). This coming spring football will head to Austria while men’s basketball will go back to China.

“The international experience is a great addition to the student-athlete experience,” said Kistler. “Our players are really looking forward to it. It will be fun to see a part of the world that most of us would not otherwise get to. This will be a great start to our 2010 season.”