Coyotes split Twilight Twinball with Augustana The University of South Dakota softball team split its final NCC doubleheader on a damp and dreary afternoon. The Coyotes rallied in game one to earn a 10-8 victory over Augustana College before falling in game two 8-5. With the split, the Coyotes move to 16-22 overall and 6-6 in the NCC while the Vikingsâ�?�? record moves to 16-23 overall and 5-7 in the NCC. Game One A pair of home runs helped Augustana jump out to an early 5-0 lead in the first game of the twinbill. It looked as though starter Brittany Donohue (So., St. Paul, Minn.) was going to cruise through the first inning. She easily retired the first two batters and then got the third batter to hit a shallow fly ball to right field. However, the ball escaped the glove of Ashley Weyers (Jr., Lincoln, NE) and kept the inning alive for Augie. On the very next pitch, Alli Hubers drilled a shot over the left field fence for a two-run homer. Hubers, who went 3-for-3 in game one, came up big again for the Vikings in the third inning. After an RBI base hit by Ally Rutherford made it a 3-0 lead, Hubers came up with one and no one out. This time on a 1-2 pitch she hit another two-run homer to center field to put AC up 5-0. The Coyotes would start their comeback in the bottom of the third. They put together back-to-back four-run innings to take an 8-5 lead. Cortney Heim (Fr., Plattsmouth, NE) drove in USDâ�?�?s first run of the game and then in the next at bat Tagney Jones (Jr., Lincoln, NE) drove in another run to cut the lead down to three. Two batters later, Mel Johnson (Fr., Sioux Falls) had a two-run double to bring USD to within one run. South Dakota would gain the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Heim collected another RBI on a base hit to the outfield to tie the game, and then for the second-straight inning Jones followed her with an RBI double to give the Coyotes a 6-5 lead. The inning continued to duplicate the production of the third inning when Johnson delivered another two-run hit to put USD up 8-5. Johnsonâ�?�?s insurance runs would prove to be very vital to USD. In the top of the fifth inning, Augustana would tie the game at 8-8 thanks to one of two Coyote errors. With the game tied at 8-8 in the bottom of the fifth, senior Krystal Kirwan (Omaha, NE) gave the hometown fans a parting gift in her final doubleheader at Nygaard Field. Donohue ledoff the inning with a walk and then two batters later, Kirwan drilled an 0-1 pitch to left field for the game-winning home run. Heim, who relieved Donohue in the third inning, earned the win by pitching 5.0 innings and allowing three runs on six hits. Just one of her runs were earned and combined with Donohue, only four of the eight runs USD allowed were earned. Game Two In the second billing of the doubleheader, the bats of Hubers and Traci Fransen proved to be too much for the Coyotes. Fransen hit a three-run homer in the top half of the first inning and Hubers hit her third home run of the doubleheader, a two-run shot in the sixth. The Coyotes would keep it interesting throughout the game. Shara Thompson (Fr., Brookings) hit a solo home run in the second inning and Jonesâ�?�? two-run base hit in the third tied the game at 3-3. However, the Vikings would score five unanswered runs over the next three innings to put the game out of reach. South Dakota strung together an exciting rally in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs they scored two runs to bring the contest to 8-5. USD would load the bases on an outfield hit and a pair of walks to bring Thompson back up to the plate. On the very first pitch she drove the pitch sharply to right field, however, it was right into the glove of Jenna Turner who made the grab and ended the game.