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Bulldogs roll into NSIC softball championship game

Less than a week after allowing 33 runs to Augustana in one doubleheader, UMD blanked the Vikings on one hit on Friday.

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ROCHESTER โ€” It's hard to think of ways Friday's Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference softball tournament game on Friday could be any more different than the doubleheader they played in Duluth on Sunday.

On a sunny afternoon at the RYFSA Complex, the Bulldogs and pitcher Lauren Dixon stifled the powerful Augustana offense to a single hit and advanced to the championship game with a 4-0 victory.

UMD allowed 17 and 16 runs Sunday in 40-degree conditions with 15-30-mph winds blowing out at Malosky Stadium, but on Friday, all Augustana managed was a one-out single by Delaney Young in the second inning, followed two pitches later by a double-play grounder that retired the side.

Dixon faced the minimum 21 batters, striking out seven batters and walking none.

UMD set a tone offensively immediately, as Corrie Weise homered on the fifth pitch of the game, bringing in Kiana Bender (Cloquet) and making it 2-0 Bulldogs. Bender added an RBI single in her next at-bat and Weise drove in a third run in the fourth inning on an RBI double.

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Kat Burkhardt also had two hits for UMD (39-11).

The Bulldogs will need one win in two potential games on Saturday to win the NSIC tournament championship and with it an automatic NCAA tournament berth. Their opponent in the championship remains to be determined after the league suspended the elimination bracket final between St. Cloud State and Augustana due to lightning with the Huskies leading 3-2 after four innings. The game is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Saturday, with UMD playing no earlier than noon.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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