Knox softball could hardly mount any offense against Augustana College in their final two games of the season; the Prairie Fire managed only three hits over the course of a doubleheader against the Vikings. Coming off four wins in their last five games (including a victory over number 25 North Central College), Augustana was too much for the Prairie Fire to handle in game one.
The Prairie Fire got off on the wrong foot to start the game, allowing two unearned runs with two outs in the bottom of the first frame. An error in the outfield and two wild pitches by freshman pitcher Karli Shields allowed for the two Vikings runs.
The Knox offense was unable to make any sort of offensive noise, stranding the only three runners ever to touch base. Sophomore Rhiannon Neuville had the only hit for the Prairie Fire, a third inning single.
Shields took the loss, despite throwing a complete game in which she only gave up one earned run. Her three wild pitches and four Knox errors (one by Shields herself) were enough to hand Knox a 4-0 loss.
Junior Amber Eisha took the hill, hoping to calm the Vikings offense. They did anything but that, forcing Eisha off the mound after just 1+ inning of work. Over the course of her time on the mound, Eisha was knocked around for seven hits and six runs, four of which were earned.
Eisha, seemingly anxious to redeem herself, belted a double to open the fourth frame. The Prairie Fire squandered the good start to the fourth after failing to get a ball to leave the infield.
Eisha was stranded on third after a pop-out to the pitcher, a ground out to the pitcher and a strikeout.
After the fourth, Augustana’s Ashley Anderson was perfect for the rest of the game, failing to allow a single baserunner. Her performance was good enough to earn her a complete game shutout.
Junior Anna Lemen came in relief for Eisha, and held Augustana scoreless until the sixth. At that point, the Vikings scored another two to end the game in an 8-0 loss for the Prairie Fire.
The losses took the Prairie Fire’s overall record down to 6-25, but their conference record instills much more hope at 5-10. While five wins puts Knox in fifth in the MWC South division, the five conference wins are the most since 2005, when the team also won five games in conference play.