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April 28, 2012

2012 Season - Gibbs homer helps Vikings split with North Central

Teammates wait at home plate to greet Jillian Gibbs after her three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning of game one of the CCIW double header with North Central on Saturday, April 28 at home. Augustana won the first game 3-1 and dropped the nightcap 4-1.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Augustana picked up a split in its College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin softball double header with North Central on Saturday, April 28 at Carver Field. The Vikings won game one, thanks to a three-run home run off the bat of senior Jillian Gibbs (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) and another sterling pitching performance by sophomore Sarah Hintz (LeRoy HS, LeRoy, Ill.) by a score of 3-1 but fell 4-1 in the nightcap.

Augustana is now 25-11 overall and 6-6 in the CCIW heading into the final regular season game of the campaign tomorrow against Millikin at home. It will be "Senior Day" for three Vikings: Gibbs, Dawn Kernich (Mt. Olive HS, Mt. Olive, Ill.) and Abbi Staples (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.).

GAME 1: Augustana 3, North Central 1

Gibbs ripped a three-run, two-out home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to provide the winning margin as the Vikings defeated North Central 3-1 in the first game of a crucial CCIW twin-bill. Hintz went the distance, scattering five hits with four strikeouts and two walks as she moved her record to 15-3 on the season.

After two were out in the bottom of the fifth, with Augustana trailing 1-0, Kernich singled and freshman Jenna Teson (Jacobs HS, Algonquin, Ill.) followed with a single to move Kernich to second. Gibbs stepped in and lashed Cardinal starter Vlasta Mangia's offering on a line to left-center field. The ball was barely high enough to clear the fence, but it did for Gibbs' sixth home run of the season.

Hintz made that hold up to pick up the victory.

North Central's lone run came on a leadoff home run in the top of the fifth by Carly Trenhaile.

GAME 2: North Central 4, Augustana 1

North Central pushed across three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Cardinals were the home team per CCIW rules and that was enough for a 4-1 victory.

The game was tied 1-1 heading into the sixth and after one was out, Mangia singled, stole second and third and game home on a ground out to make it 2-1. Colleen Drennan singled and then Ashley Guest hit a two run home run off Augustana starter Courtney Ledezma (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.) to make it 4-1.

Augustana scored first in the top of the first inning. Teson led off with single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gibbs. Ledezma walked and Krista Watson (Coal City HS, Coal City, Ill.) singled to load the bases. A single by freshman Christie Wiersema scored Teson but North Central starter Kristen Hoffman got the next two batters to end the threat.

Watson had three hits in the game and Wiersema had two as the Vikings had 10 hits but stranded 11 runners. Mangia came on in relief of Hoffman and picked up the victory.

Ledezma was tagged with the loss and is now 8-6 on the season.